A fine individual goal by Charlie Stubbings on the stroke of half-time secured an important 2-1 win for Havant over arch local rivals Fareham, the result leaving the visitors in a precarious position second from bottom of the Western Conference, with only one point out of a possible 12.
There was little between the teams in the first 10 minutes with Havant being guilty of not keeping possession of the ball with Fareham creating turnovers. These early turnovers created territory advantage for the visitors restricting Havant to break- aways.
It was from one of these thrusts (in the 18th minute) that saw Havant take the lead. Craig Duffy won the ball in Havant territory and, after carrying it over the half way line, moved it on to Charlie Stubbings who, on approaching the Fareham circle, slipped the ball to Ethan Hoddle who, in turn, spun in front of Kiwi keeper Tom Mallor and set up Mike Deller-Merricks to make it 1-0.
A couple of minutes later Polish international Maciej Pacanowski came to Havant’s rescue after he saved at close range. But he was unable to prevent Fareham levelling from a 31st minute penalty corner.
He blocked Niall Stott’s shot, but Jonathan Price was quickest to react from the rebound to score his first national league goals in almost five years.
It looked liked the teams would go into the half time break locked at 1-1, when Charlie Stubbings scored a good individual goal, running into the circle along the left bye-line and eliminating a number of defenders before squeezing the ball into the Fareham goal at the near post.
The goal-less second half did not provide exciting flowing hockey with Fareham having the lion’s share of territory. Havant looked dangerous on numerous attacks by lacked the finesse to punish the visitors. Fareham won their second penalty corner in the 41st minute which resulted in a long corner. Havant won their first penalty corner of the game in the 48th minute which resulted in two retakes before a variation broke down.
Midway through the second half, Pacanowski pulled out an outstanding save when the unmarked Jack Gilbert save his shot deflected just wide .
Havant's attacks centred around the outstanding Matt Cox, being instrumental in most of his side’s attacks.
Subsequently, Havant’s best open play chances fell to Matthew Boote, who had an open shot on goal saved and also a deflected a cross from Akhtar Ali that was well saved at the Fareham’s keepers near post.
This result sees pointless Isca and Fareham at the bottom of the table ahead of Sunday’s showdown at Henry Cort, 1.30. Only one point separates the teams from 8th to 1st in the table.
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