It’s the goal that wasn’t given – and may lead to Havant’s 2-1 win over Fareham at Henry Cort earlier this year being wiped from the records and the England Hockey Western Conference derby replayed.
With ten minutes left on the clock on February 17, an intriguing derby played out in front of a bumper crowd was in the balance at 1-1 when Richard Mantell, Fareham’s former Great Britain Olympian, crashed a searing penalty corner drag flick against the underside of the Havant crossbar.
It appeared at the time the ball had bounced out on to the pitch and away to safety.
Indeed, the umpires thought that was the case and waved play on.
But a goal-line technology photograph released today suggests the opposite, with the ball clearly shown to be several inches over the goal-line beneath the crossbar.
In a fearsome counter-attack Havant broke away with Portugal international Miguel Rodrigues firing home their winner.
Faced with a unique situation, England Hockey’s dubious goals panel may feel it appropriate to trim three points off Havant’s championship winning tally and order the match to be replayed, possibly over the late April Easter weekend.
League champions Havant could survive the loss of the three win points, as they would still finish ahead of runners-up Olton & West Warwicks, who thrashed them 8-3 in yesterday’s final round of matches.
Similarly, Fareham’s 2-0 win over Ed Ellis’s Oxford Hawks, inspired by a second half brace by Niall Stott, has secured a National League play-off spot for Ben Barnes’s squad. 1.4.2019
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