A late reshuffle to the squad was required with Duncan Marsh missing the trip with a slight hamstring strain, picked up at training on Thursday night. Dan Ferrier took his place in the squad.
The three hour trip to Exeter went to plan with the team arriving with the sun shining but blustery winds. Havant started the game brightly with Maciej Janiszewski having a good early chance having robbed the Isca defender, but his shot was well saved by the Isca GK.
Havant’s midfield led by Matt Cox took control of the game and Havant had good possession, but did not really create any clear chances. Some half chances were created and Mike Deller-Merricks and Maciej Janiszewski brought out two further saves from the Isca GK.
However Isca looked dangerous on the break and won the 1st penalty corner of the game in the 14th minute. The strike at goal was well saved by Chris Bristow in the Havant goal, and cleared from danger by his defensive team mates.
Jack Stubbings then won good possession high up the pitch and he fed the ball to Adam Bloomfield who did not connect fully with his strike and the ball was cleared again by the Isca defence.
Havant then won their first penalty corner of the game after some good work by Sam Hatherley down the left flank. Toseeq converted the penalty corner to give Havant a 1-0 which they held until the half time break.
The second half began with the same pattern as the first with Havant creating some half chances, but not really troubling the Isca goalkeeper. Isca pushed for the equaliser but Chris Bristow was equal to all their efforts and made a couple of good saves from Isca’s forwards.
Isca then were then down to ten men with a green card, and again Havant created some further chances, but could not find the back of the net.
However Isca were back on level terms with Chris Bristow saving well from a penalty corner, but he could do nothing to stop the rebound. There was a 5 minute break in the game as Bristow suffered a serious injury and with no reserve goalkeeper, he was given plenty of time to get ready.
Isca sensed that Havant were vulnerable with an injured GK, and they pushed for the winner. However Bristow would not be beaten and made a number of good saves in a key spell of the game, for which he won the Havant man of the match award.
However Havant weathered the storm (sorry couldn’t resist), and gained control of the game. Matt Cox, Maciej Janiszewski and Sam Hatherley took control of the midfield and created some good chances, but again Havant could find the net.
It was with time running out that a great chance fell for Indy Laly and he made no mistake with a rasping shot into the Isca goal to give Havant a well deserved lead.
The game ended with a 2-1 victory for Havant and on another day they might have got one or two more goals.
Next week Havant are away to Team Bath Buccaneers, who were league champions last season.