11/11/17 : Mens 1 vs Cheltenham
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Won 2 - 1
This was a good result, but a frustrating Havant performance against a Cheltenham team that played with great spirit, when considering their league position. We were not at our best, especially executing our corners, but this was due to a determined Chelt
From the starting whistle Cheltenham immediately put Havant under pressure creating a half chance, followed up by winning a penalty corner within the first minute of the game. Chris Bristow playing despite not feeling well made a double save to deny the visitors. Cheltenham had started well and kept up the momentum and it took Havant some time until they managed to get any control of the game.
In the 7th minute Maciej Janiszewski nearly opened the scoring with a deflected free hit into the circle, which pulled out a great save from Sam Cathie the Cheltenham keeper, who had a superb game throughout. Havant began to take control, but were guilty of lacking width in attack and constant ploughing through the middle made it easy for Cheltenham to defend and Havant lacked any real outcomes.
In the 21st minute Ethan Hoddle set up Indi Laly in the circle, but his reverse shot went well wide of the goal. With five minutes to half time Sam Hatherley picked the ball up just outside the 23 yard line and after drifting into the circle past several defenders was wharted by the Cheltenham keeper who smothered the shot. The last five minutes saw Havant mount a number of attacks with a period of sustained pressure. Firstly Matt Boote deflected a centre wide of the goal, then Matt Cox had a shot saved, and in the dying seconds Havant won their first of eight penalty corners of the game, but Toseeq flicked straight at Sam Cathie, who kept the scores level at the break.
Within a minute of the restart Maciej had a great chance after being set up by Craig Duffy, but this came to nothing and resulted in a Cheltenham break creating an opportunity at the other end. Havant won their second penalty corner in the 38th minute, once again it was Sam Hatherley that won this corner, who was influential whenever he moved forward from a defensive position, but the resulting flick was easily saved by Cathie.
Havant were now rolling up considerable pressure on the visitors defence and won further penalty corners in the 40th, 41st and 44th minutes. It was from the last of these corners that Havant took the lead after a deflection from the number one runner saw the ball fly into the roof of the net off Muhammad Arshad (Toseeq’s) flick from the top of the circle. Havant now with a goal up stepped up the pressure in a spell when Cheltenham defended hard, but could not stop Havant winning their 6th penalty corner in the 48th minute. This was saved, but the rebound fell to Maciej who pushed his shot the wrong side of the post at close range.
To Cheltenham's credit in the 55th minute the visitors struck back after some slack marking in the Havant defence. Chris Bristow was drawn out of his goal and a pass across him found the unmarked Craig Graham who made no mistake hitting the ball into an empty goal. After a period of Havant dominance this was a goal slightly against the run of play, although Cheltenham had mounted attacks, and it did not take long for Havant to relaunch a number of attacks, which were brilliantly defended by a well marshalled defence and Sam Cathie in goal.
Tomek Bruml sent a reverse shot over the bar, Hatherley after a great run centred the ball across the goal, but there was no Havant forward to get a touch on it, Maciej was denied by two great saves and even two further penalty corners could not see Havant take the lead. With five minutes left on the clock it was looking like Havant would be denied, but Havant produced a quality goal. With 66 minutes left on the clock a Havant turnover in midfield set Maciej Janiszewski away down the right and into the circle. As Cheltenham’s keeper came out to challenge Maciej he brilliantly laid the ball off to Matt Cox who was running into the circle at high speed and he picked up the pass and slammed it into the empty goal.
The dying minutes was a tense affair especially when Havant went down to ten men after a green card. Cheltenham threw everything at Havant in search of a point, but some brave defending and intelligent play saw Havant retain the ball until the final whistle sounded.
Matt Cox 1