Knight targets revenge but Ashley wants repeat

Portsmouth out to turn tables on Cranleighans

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Havant are out to exact Hampshire Cup revenge on local rivals Gosport & Fareham in their semi-final at Hooks Lane tomorrow (2.30pm).

With only four teams entering – Portsmouth and Basingstoke the others – the competition moves straight into the semi-final stage.

The two teams met at the same stage last season with Gosport & Fareham winning a rugged encounter at the same venue.

Havant coach Will Knight is backing his team to reverse that result to claim a place in the final.

‘It is a local derby and they are always feisty affairs,’ said Knight.

‘We beat them twice in the league last season but lost in the cup.

‘It would be nice to get the cup bragging rights back.

‘The way we have been playing recently this is certainly a game we are targeting to win.

‘No doubt it is likely to be just as hard as last year but we are a year older and have a growing maturity in our squad.

‘Our discipline has been good all season and I have no doubts about us keeping a cool head.’

Havant have shown in recent London one south games they are a much-improved outfit.

Their three-quarters are highly rated, capable of exposing most defences.

The likes of captain Joel Knight, James Read, Ben Brierley and the Blackburn brothers, Loz and Josh, are all potential matchwinners.

The forwards have also shown that they are capable of providing the necessary platform.

Gosport & Fareham coach Scott Ashley is predicting another hard-fought tight contest.

The London Two South-West visitors are fired up for the clash.

‘Havant are a big physical side and this season play a league higher than us,’ said Ashley.

‘If we are to win again we need to be at our game from the start.

‘It is a local derby between two arch-rivals and that mix is aways going to be a little volatile.

‘It is a chance for us to put a marker down because we want to get back up into their league next season.

‘We will have to play with our heads, make the right decisions and not give away any silly points.’

Ashley is hoping there won’t be a repeat of last weekend when he found selection hampered by injury and unavailability.

The team saw their titles hopes hit as a depleted and reshuffled team could only manage a draw at Winchester, a rare disappointment for the team this season.

‘The result last weekend wasn’t ideal but we are determined to take things forward,’ said Ashley.

‘Players coming in will need to step up to the plate and perform.

‘We need our experienced players to lead, our youngsters not to get overawed and for both to play with passion.’