Resolute Havant give Team Bath the sinking feeling

HAVANT maintained their unbeaten home record in Men's Conference West with a resolute performance to crush Team Bath 3-0.

Monday, 27th November 2017, 8:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 12:48 pm
Havant's Matt Cox. Picture: Keith Woodland

From the push back Team Bath kept possession well but the first chance of the game fell to Havant in the third minute.

Chris Smith making his way up the right wing crossed the ball into the circle, but Matt Boote was unable to get his stick onto it.

It was Havant again who created another good chance in the fifth minute after Matt Cox, who had an outstanding game, created a turnover in midfield which resulted in a Havant penalty corner.

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This was easily saved with a flick that went straight down the middle of the goal.

Team Bath continued to play pretty hockey, moving the ball at the back and in and out of midfield, but it was also pretty ineffective.

They did mount some attacks and forays into the Havant circle, but they did not trouble Chris Bristow in goal.

Havant were able to create a number of turnovers in midfield and mount attacks.

But they were guilty at times of poor decision making with a poor final pass around the visitors’ circle or thwarted by good defending.

Until Havant opened the scoring it was cat and mouse, with neither team taking advantage.

But the turning point came when Havant upped their game and started to really put the Bath defence under pressure.

Team Bath looked good in space and unchallenged.

But they were very uncomfortable when placed under pressure.

Havant won their second penalty corner in the 25th minute after Jack Stubbings found a defender’s foot in the circle and a variation from Jonathan Pickett found Cox who deflected the ball high into the Team Bath net.

It was a tough start to the second half.

Havant had to dig in and the visitors piled the pressure on.

Bristow made some great saves and eventually the tide began to turn back towards the home team.

They won a third penalty corner in the 51st minute.

The routine broke down at the top of the circle but Havant were able to get a shot on target and the rebound off the keeper fell to Cox who sent a rasping reverse shot high into the goal for 2-0.

The home defence proved to be rock solid leaving Team Bath frustrated.

And the third goal to wrap up the scoring arrived when Havant made no mistake from their fifth penalty corner in the 54th minute as Jonathan Pickett converted a straight drag flick for 3-0.

The man of the match award was shared between Cox and Bristow, with Bristow eventually winning it from a second vote.