Following a week of dismal rain, inclement weather once again threatened proceedings as the 6th XI made the trip up the A3 to Camberley for their second game of the season. Luckily, the worst of the weather was lost on the journey and even the light pre-game drizzle dissipated prior to the commencement of play. Against the odds, conditions were good for a game of hockey.
After a tough result last week the squad were keen to put on an improved performance and find their first win of the season. On the rain-soaked pitch, Havant started well; several passing moves carved through the C&F midfield but capable covering from the opposition defence prevented serious chances early on. Many of the early attacks were driven by excellent play from 6th XI debutant Ben Hegan who found chinks in the C&F armour time and time again; one such attack left him perfectly placed to convert but a poor pass from Sheff squandered the best opportunity of the half.
Havant remained in the ascendency throughout the first half and created plenty more shot opportunities as the game progressed but were just unable to find the back of the net thanks to sterling keeping from the C&F goalie. Camberley put together some good attacks towards the end of the first but were largely stifled in the midfield by AR, Henry and captain Harry. A much better pressing effort from the whole team also made life difficult for the opposition. The rare ball through the line was picked off many a time by AJ and DT, and the best chances Camberley could muster were adeptly handled by Alex Bolton between the sticks.
Half time rolled around, and new tactics were discussed over graciously provided Jelly babies. Much praise was given to the team effort and excellent running on and off the ball. 6th XI talisman AJ subbed himself off for the start of the second half, an occurrence that we may never see again in our lifetime!
Right from the whistle Havant once again found themselves with much of the possession. Will Hawkins found success down the left and circle penetrations came freely. AR continued to fire balls into the D but still the team struggled to convert the myriad of chances that were created. Olly Pescott can consider himself unlucky not to score after a near miss following a great run and pass from Max Whitehorn. The tale of the half was the outstanding link-up play of Max and Finn de Trafford down the right flank. Textbook one-twos yielded a number of good crosses and eventually paid the desired dividends: a mazy dribble-and-pass manoeuvre from the pair resulted in the greatest back post tap-in ever from Paul Shefferd. 1-0 to the good guys.
Havant stuck to the task after the goal and played some good hockey but were unable to convert a second time. Some staunch defending from the back line soaked up the late pressure from C&F and Havant came out extremely worthy winners at the final whistle.
Post-match celebrations elected Finn de Trafford as back-to-back MoM for another magnificent showing, but many players had strong performances and the vote wasn’t an easy one!
DoD was self-awarded by Paul Shefferd for not understanding how a bully works.