Influential Knight returns from suspension as Havant aim to keep home fires burning

Joel Knight returns for Havant this weekend after suspension
Joel Knight returns for Havant this weekend after suspension
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Will Knight insists Havant will need to be at their best in defence of their unbeaten home record against Thurrock in London One South at Hooks Lane (3pm).

The home side are joint-top behind Westcombe Park on points difference.

Though the visitors are mid-table, Knight insists that counts for little.

'Thurrock are always a tough proposition,' he stated.

'In recent seasons they have consistently been up and around the top in this league.

'They have already pushed a number of top teams close and we know they will present us with a number of challenges.

'We lost at their place last season, though we had the edge on them at home.

'It is likely to be wet and that is always a great leveller.

'This game kicks off a tough six weeks for us.

'In this time we play all the other top sides and at the end of it will be in a better position to see how the league will pan out.'

Havant welcome back the influential Joel Knight at outside half after he missed the last month through suspension after being sent off at Beckenham.

With Jake Reynolds picking up an injury at Dartfordians, Knight comes straight back in.

Elsewhere in the three-quarters Darren Bamford returns at full back and James Wise makes his first senior appearance of the season on the left wing.

Wise has been in impressive form in the 2nds after returning from injury.

In the forwards rotation means Harmundus Morgan starts in the front row with Luke Marks dropping to the bench.

The hugely experienced Steve Cruddas comes into the back row with Will Owen shifting across to number eight.

Knight is excited by the club’s strength in depth.

'I don't think in all the years I have been coaching at Havant we have had so much competition for places,' said Knight.

'Selection meetings have never been as intense as they have been this season.

'We have virtually got competition in all positions and decisions have never been harder to make.

'From a coach’s point of view, this is brilliant.

'All the players know they have to play well to keep their place.

'If they have a poor game they know there are others queuing up to take their place.

'They know they have to keep performing.

'Playing the top teams also helps bring the best out of them.'