Solid defence is key as Havant see off Staines
It was another victory and another clean sheet for Havant after they scored three without reply against bottom side Staines on Saturday.
Two goals from Adam Bloomfield and a third from James Speke ensured Havant remain top of South League premier division one.
A second clean sheet in a row puts them three points clear and ahead of Old Georgians on goal difference.
Staines, with only one win all season, managed to frustrate the home side in front of goal in a game Havant controlled throughout.
Staines’ man-of-the-match was their goalkeeper who kept the score respectable for the visitors, including saving a penalty stroke.
Coach Ady Adams said: ‘It was a solid performance. We had a load more chances so yes it would have been nice to put a few more away.
‘What’s encouraging is, we might not be scoring eight at the moment but we’re keeping clean sheets so the goal difference is about the same.
‘As soon as we got the second goal, I felt we were always going to kick on and win the game.’
Havant worked the keeper throughout, with shots saved from Jonathan Pickett and Indy Laly early on.
They finally broke the deadlock in the 19th minute after Chris Smith’s cross found Bloomfield, who turned the ball in from close range.
Havant could have gone further ahead three minutes later.
Maciej Janiszewski was upended in the circle but the Staines keeper saved Pickett’s penalty stroke to keep the score at 1-0.
Two minutes after the restart Mike Deller-Merricks had a good opportunity and Speke also had a deflection turned past the post.
Havant’s frustration seemed to create hope within the visitors and they managed to push forward and pile some pressure on the defence but without really worrying Ben Cowling in goal.
Staines went down to 10 men in the 48th minute and Havant used the advantage to score twice.
First Bloomfield scored after good work from Craig Duffy down the right wing, and then Bloomfield’s deflected shot fell to Speke, who volleyed the ball into the roof of the net three minutes later to wrap up the game.
Adams added: ‘We play quite a wide expansive game of hockey and we move the ball around lots so by doing that, teams are going to get tired against us.
‘It’s not the first time we’ve scored a few goals in the second half when the opposition have started to wilt a little bit.
‘The lads don’t know when they’re beaten, which is fantastic because we know we can score right until the end of the game.’
The only concern would be their lack of conversion rates at penalty corners.
They had seven against Staines and failed to score any.