Portsmouth Grammar School’s Ethan Hoddle grabbed an equaliser two minutes from time to climax a gallant second half fight-back by Havant, who wiped out a two-goal deficit to hold Western Conference title chasers Exeter University 2-2.
Exeter University took the lead in the 25th minute when Duncan Scott drifted his way into the Havant circle and sent a reverse shot through a melee of players beating the un-sighted Bristow in the home goal.
Immediately from the re-start Havant could and perhaps should have equalised after Matthew Boote had a one on one with Gayler, who saved the first attempt with the rebound falling to Adam Bloomfield, who was unable to hit the target.
The second half could not have got off to a worse start after Exeter University went 2-0 up after a soft goal by Conor Caplan.
Two-up Exeter were beginning to control the game winning turnovers in midfield and breaking quickly forward. Havant goalkeeper Chris Bristow had to pull off several fine saves.
With 11 minutes to go, Sam Hatherley brought Havant back into the game. He collected the ball outside the 23 yard line and eliminated two defenders before he cleverly lifted the ball over a defenders stick in the circle and slapping an unstoppable reverse stick shot into the net.
Exeter had an opportunity to defuse Havant’s enthusiasm after another quick break forced Bristow out of his circle, where the ball hit his body. The resulting penalty corner broke down and the quick thinking Craig Duffy started a counter attack which was rewarded two minutes from time when the teenage Ethan Hoddle got the last touch on the ball as it ricocheted between players in front of goal to level the score at 2-2.
In the last minute Mike Deller-Merricks had the opportunity to win all three points for Havant, but his shot on goal was well saved by Gayler and the spoils were shared.
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