Cruddas set for landmark appearance for Havant against Thurrock

Steve Cruddas. Picture: Neil Marshall
Steve Cruddas. Picture: Neil Marshall
Bournemouth congratulate Havant on their victory. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

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Steve Cruddas is set to make his 250th league appearance for Havant in their London one south clash against Thurrock at Hooks Lane tomorrow (3pm).

The 35-year-old forward has proved a fantastic servant and played a big role in the success of recent seasons.

Will Knight believes the stalwart can continue for a few more campaigns.

The Havant head coach said: ‘Steve has played more league games than any other player in the history of the club.

‘If he hadn’t spent a couple of seasons at Brighton he would be nearer 350 games.

‘It is a remarkable achievement. Whenever available he has been a constant presence in our side and you know what you are going to get out of him week-in, week-out.

‘He is a top-notch player, whether at hooker or wing forward.

‘His leadership and nous are valuable commodities for us. When players see his name on the team sheet it gives them all a lift.

‘They all look up to him as a player. He has an uncanny ability to maintain his fitness and is a high-quality operator.

‘All round he is a highly-skilled player – fantastic with ball in hand and in defence.’

Havant enter their final three games of the campaign with their play-off ambitions hanging by a thread.

They trail second-placed Medway by six points and need the Kent side to slip up.

Firstly, though, the Hooks Lane outfit must see off the threat of Thurrock.

In the three-quarters for Havant, youngster Reuben Knight starts at outside half.

The fledgling prospect is with the club until the end of the season.

He will then take up a professional contract at Premiership side London Irish.

His brother and captain, Joel, moves to the centre. Meanwhile, Ellis Rudder plays on the wing after returning from university.

With Havant still hoping they can make the play-offs, coach Knight wants to see his troops deliver three victories from their remaining matches and see where they finish in the table.

He added: ‘It is an unwritten expectancy in the side.

‘The physicality at the contact areas puts us on the front foot.

‘If we get enough ball against Thurrock then our exciting back line could have a field day.

‘Whatever happens it will be good to finish the campaign off by winning our last three games.

‘Winning is important because we can’t predict what might happen elsewhere.

‘We have to be ready to capitalise on any slips by Medway.’

Havant: Bamford, Rudder E, Knight J,Morris S, Chambers, Knight R, Reynolds, Bellman E, Rudder J, Morgan, Janes, Young, Mellor, Davis, Cruddas Replacements: Blackburn T, Mundan, Crisp