Havant effort lauded in wake of latest cruel blow

Joel Knight scores against Sidcup. Picture: Neil Marshall
Joel Knight scores against Sidcup. Picture: Neil Marshall
  • Will Knight rues fourth narrow loss in succession
  • Joel Knight and Jerome Trail touch down at Hooks Lane
  • Sidcup win with final kick of London one south scrap
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A last-gasp penalty condemned Havant to a 22-20 London south defeat to Sicup at Hooks Lane.

It was heartbreaking for the hosts as the last kick of the game sailed between the posts to hand the visitors the win.

I am not sure what more the players can do

Will Knight

For the fourth consecutive game, Havant found themselves losing by just one score or even less.

It was hard to take for coach Will Knight and his players.

‘The rugby gods can be very cruel at times,’ said the head coach.

‘We have now lost our last four games by a total of around 10 points and that only increases the frustrations.

‘It is vital we find a way to go out and win these games.

‘The performance was a huge step up from last week and we played really good rugby.

‘I am not sure what more the players can do.

‘The effort and commitment from them was fantastic and they have been so close every week.

‘We just need to find those extra few points to get us over the line.’

The opening 40 minutes proved a very tight affair and it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that Sidcup broke the deadlock.

The Kent side put together a series of phases before spinning the ball wide to score on the outside.

Joel Knight hit back quickly with a penalty to leave Havant trailing 5-3 at the interval.

Sidcup opened the second half scoring and converting a catch-and-drive try, which was one of their key strengths.

A fantastic break from number eight Joe Davis helped get Havant back within two points.

Davis was supported by hooker Jerome Trail, who fed Joel Knight to finish off the move.

The latter added the conversion and did the same when Trail went over for a try of his own.

Havant led 17-12 but it continued to be a rollercoaster of a game, with Sidcup returning to their catch-and-drive ploy to regain the lead.

With two or three minutes remaining it looked like Havant had snatched it when Joel Knight kicked another penalty.

But they failed to clear their lines properly from the restart, allowing Sidcup set up an attacking position.

After a series of drives, a Havant player finally drifted offside and Sidcup kicked the winning penalty.

‘We need to put a few wins together between now and Christmas,’ said Will Knight.

‘In the last four games, we could have ended up with 12 points but have only picked up four.

‘They have all been bonus points for losing by less than seven.

‘We have got to find a way to stop the habit of losing by small margins.

‘Once we can consistently field our strongest squad, results will come.’