An equalising goal two minutes from time from Charlie Neat gave hosts Oxford Hawks a share of the points at the end of a scrappy, disjointed 1-1 draw with fourth placed National League South visitors Havant.
Having led for over 50 minutes, Havant will be disappointed not to come away with all three points, though the equaliser was a result of one unforced error too many.
After a cagey start, Hawks forced the first penalty corner after five minutes. After their first effort broke down, the home side engineered a second go from which Maciej Pacanowski made the first of a series of good saves.
Somewhat against the run of play Havant took the lead in the 19th minute. From an attack down the right flank, the ball bounced around in front of goal, before Argentinian Manu Silvetti [pictured] forced the ball in to continue his good goal scoring form.
Just before half time, Chris Smith was the victim of a wild swing of the stick, from the home team’s Ted Bennett, which resulted in a ten minute sin-bin suspension.
With a player advantage, the third quarter was Havant’s best period of the match and gave them the best opportunity to extend their lead. The forwards started to put together a sequence of fast interplay, though without really testing the home keeper and a well marshalled, robust defence. Havant won their sole penalty corner of the game, but Fede Bertoni’s drag flick flashed just past the right hand post.
With a number of decisions appearing to go against them, Havant’s frustrations led them to force the play too often, give away turnovers and forced Pacanowski to make a number of fine saves and interventions to preserve the lead.
With the visiting supporters biting their fingernails and checking their watches frequently, it looked as though Havant might steal all three points. Then a loose pass across the back four was
mis-trapped and the home team took full advantage.
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