Sean Shepherd battles on despite suffering injury issue to claim victory at the death for Havant on 'heavy' Maidenhead playing surface

Sean Shepherd returned to the field despite picking up a knee injury to prove Havant's hero in their last-gasp London & SE Premier triumph at Maidenhead.
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Shepherd was one of several visiting players to suffer impact problems on the artificial playing surface at Braywick Park.

Havant head coach Will Knight conceded he thought Shepherd's game was up when he was replaced, only for him to be forced back on in the closing stages to take a line-out - and then end up scoring his side's winning converted try in their late, late 29-27 victory.

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‘We were very disrupted by injuries, we lost our full-back, Cam Smith, within 10 minutes, he went off after landing heavily on the surface,’ revealed Knight.

Sean Shepherd, pictured in action for Gosport & Fareham, returned to the field despite suffering a knee injury to score Havant's last-gasp converted winning try at Maidenhead Picture: Chris MoorhouseSean Shepherd, pictured in action for Gosport & Fareham, returned to the field despite suffering a knee injury to score Havant's last-gasp converted winning try at Maidenhead Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Sean Shepherd, pictured in action for Gosport & Fareham, returned to the field despite suffering a knee injury to score Havant's last-gasp converted winning try at Maidenhead Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘We had our winger, Joe Moore, running around on one leg - he was really struggling. It was another impact injury on the pitch.

‘Actually Sean Shepherd went off injured, it looked like his day was done, he then came back on for that fateful last line-out, threw the ball in and scored the try.

‘He came on for that last line-out, came back on because we needed a hooker to throw the ball in, we got him on and managed not only to hit his line-out, but also get on the end of the drive and score the try.

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‘The impact on the pitch was very heavy, it wasn’t giving much, the boys really struggled with it. We came away with a few jarred limbs.’

Havant scored three quickfire tries towards the end of the first-half through Joe Moore, Elliott Bellman and Reuben Knight as they went in level at 15-15 at half-time.

The visitors went ahead for the first time seven minutes after the restart with captain Joel Knight forcing his way over.

But fourth-bottom Maidenhead turned the game on its head once more, securing two tries in quick succession to open up a 27-22 advantage with eight minutes of regulation time remaining.

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Just when it looked as Havant would suffer a surprise defeat, Shepherd picked himself up to haul himself back on despite struggling with a knee problem.

It would prove a key move as he forced his way over right at the death to claim a dramatic victory for Havant, who moved up a place to fifth in the table following Wimbledon's defeat at home to Sutton & Epsom.

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