25/03/17 : Mens 1 vs Old Cranleighans
Home - Havant College
Won 3 - 1
Superb end to the season to top the league and gain promotion
Havant won their first penalty corner within a minute after Niall Stott created a turnover in midfield and passed to Mike Deller-Merricks who won the corner hitting a defenders foot in the circle. Adam Seccull uncharacteristically did not get hold of the flick, which was turned round the post by the man on the line. James Speke then set up Deller-Merricks in the second minute of the game but, Mike’s deflection was wide of the goal. Old Cranleighans created some chances of their own, but Chris Bristow in the Havant goal was equal to any attempts. Within the first fifthteen minutes Havant were in charge, but were guilty in forcing the play and too many passes were picked off by Old Cranleighans. One pass that left Old Cranleighans wanting came once again from Niall Stott who after driving through midfield found Maciej who entered the circle and crashed home an unstoppable reverse shot into the corner of the goal.
This goal either woke Old Cranleighans up, or made Havant relax, as the pattern of play shifted, and it was Old Cranleighans who looked the more dangerous, keeping possession and mounting a number of raids on the Havant goal. The visitors won their first penalty corner in the 17th minute, which was saved by Bristow. To more chances within two minutes passed as Bristow and his defence were made to work hard to retain the one goal lead into the second half.
In the 43rd minute Adam Seccull flicked Havant’s second penalty corner through the goal keepers legs, to give Havant the comfort of a two goal lead. A minute later that comfort had gone as Old Cranleighans pulled a soft goal back, after a calamity of errors saw the ball roll under Bristow, to bring the visitors back into the game. Old Cranleighans sensed a comeback was possible and Havant needed to defend a difficult spell before slowly turning the possession back to the home side. It was Adam Seccull who gave Havant the comfort once again, as he has done so many times this season, restoring the two goal lead after he flicked the ball off the inside of the post at Havant’s third penalty corner.
Old Cranleighans had a good chance winning a penalty corner in the 60th minute, but this was charged down by Craig Duffy. The remainder of the half saw chances for both sides, but none of these were taken.This game may not have been a classic and a nervy performance from Havant, but they did enough to win the three points to secure the title and promotion.
After we lost against Bromley & Beckenham and Horsham in January, it looked like the chance of winning the title was gone for another season. The squad have performed brilliantly during February and March winning all seven games, scoring 32 goals and conceding 11. The season has been made that more difficult when considering the string of injuries we have endured and the squad and management deserve great credit for their fortitude and expertise. Yesterday we lost Duncan Marsh again with another broken finger and a number of the squad played yesterday carrying injuries. Next Saturday we play Oxford Hawks away in a re-arranged league game and although the team will be depleted in numbers I am sure they will want to finish the league season off with a win.