Joel's serious foot injury is big blow as Havant chase play-off spot
HAVANT's hopes of securing the London one south play-off place have been hit by injury ahead of their final day of the season visit to Sidcup (3pm).
Influential play-maker and goal-kicker Joel Knight is ruled out after picking up a serious injury against Winchester in the Hampshire Cup final.
He is waiting for the results of a scan on his foot but the prospects are not good.
The fear is he will need an operation and that would keep him out of the game for up to six months.
Havant travel to Kent knowing they need to beat the league leaders to ensure the play-off place.
If they slip up then Tunbridge Wells, who host Maidstone, could pip them.
Though the loss of Knight puts a dent in Havant’s chances the solution may come from within the family itself.
Joel’s brother Jacob, who is also a goal-kicking outside-half, could be recalled to fill the gap.
He is registered to play for the club, even though he is currently studying at Nottingham Trent University.
His experience of playing Championship rugby with Nottingham could prove invaluable.
Coach Will Knight will consider the options he has available to cover.
He said: ‘We will have to sit down and decide what we are going to do.
‘There are a number of options available to us and we will have to consider them all.
‘With hindsight maybe playing Joel in the cup final was not a great decision.
‘He has undoubtedly played a big part in our success this season.
‘Nobody is more gutted than he is after all the hard work put in to help get us where we are in the league.
‘He just can’t believe it.
‘We know what we have to do and our fate is in our own hands.
‘If we go out and win we reach the play-off so that is our only focus.
‘Any sort of win will do – we just need to get the necessary points.
‘At the same time we are under no illusions because we are travelling to take on the top of the league.’
Havant are three points ahead of their Kent rivals but face the more difficult final game.
Will Knight is also waiting to hear if full-back Darren Bamford will be free from work commitments and his presence could make a big difference.
Loz Blackburn also picked up a knock in the cup final and is a doubt.
‘Whatever happens this has been a great season,’ said Will Knight.
‘It is a testament to the hard work put in by a lot of people in the last five years.
‘A return to National league rugby is our aim and if not this season then we are in a great position to go again next season.’
Gosport & Fareham host Sevenoaks in their final match of the season tomorrow.