'Devastation' for Havant after suffering Brighton & Hove defeat... Fareham fall at University of Bristol
Havant Hockey Club player-head coach James Morris told how there was a feeling of 'devastation' in the camp following their 5-4 National League Division One South defeat to Brighton & Hove.
Brighton netted right at the last to edge the nine-goal thriller at Havant College and send the hosts crashing to a second successive loss to start the new season.
Morris admitted defeat was even tougher to take given the fact he felt his men deserved to win the match.
However, the Havant player-head coach says his team are finding out the hard way just how difficult and harsh life can be in the second tier.
The hosts had battled back from 4-2 behind to pull things back to 4-4 prior to Brighton's late, late winner - and Morris was left wishing the final whistle had been blown 30 seconds earlier.
He said: ‘It was pretty frustrating and I don’t know what the word really is. I think the mood in the camp afterwards was pretty devastated, really, how we got ourselves into a position and just let it slip.
‘It was a game where - I might be speaking out of turn - we controlled the game, we controlled the ball, we caused a lot of threat and created loads of chances but didn’t take enough of them. We then conceded a few goals, whether they were against the run of play or a bit cheap, there were still a lot of positives in the performance. It was just gutting to put ourselves in that position, the boys showed a lot of courage to come back from 4-2 down, we could have done with the whistle going 30 seconds earlier.’
Jamie Rawlings had cancelled out Ben Cook's opener for Brighton as the sides were locked level at 1-1 after the first half.
A goal-fest would ensue in the second period, with Havant soon taking the lead for the first time through Ollie Jameson.
Brighton then turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 advantage in the space of six second-half minutes.
The goals kept on coming and efforts from James Speke and Scott Rawlings looked to have earnt Havant a point as they pulled it back to 4-4.
But a last-gasp goal left the hosts pointless from two matches, much to the annoyance of Morris.
He added: ‘I think every single person who was involved in the game from our point of view - whether that was a Havant spectator or Havant player - we all felt we deserved to win the game.
‘Sadly, deserving to win the game isn’t enough, you’ve actually got to go and win it.
‘I think it’s why everyone was so frustrated afterwards was because we should have won.’
n Fareham Hockey Club men's first-team suffered their first National League Conference West defeat of the season.
They were beaten 5-2 on the road at University of Bristol men's first-team on Sunday.