30/09/18 : Mens 1 vs Olton & West Warwicks

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League

Lost 1 - 3

Men's 1s lose opening league game to a well organised Olton & West Warwicks side.

The Men’s 1st XI entertained Olton & West Warwick and lost 1-3, which I cannot help but feel flattered the visitors. Olton & West Warwick were clearly a good and well drilled team, consisting of many ex Cannock and Loughborough students players. They had the balance of play in the first half and one had to admire their ability to keep possession and move the ball round with a number of passes available for the ball carrier.
 
Olton & West Warwick threatened the Havant goal in the third minute when the visitors sent a shot passed the post. Four minutes later Olton & West Warwick were in our circle again producing a good save from goalkeeper Maciej Pacanowski. Despite Olton & West Warwick’s early pressure Havant produced an attack up the right creating a good opportunity, but a Havant forward could not get a touch on the ball. Havant won a penalty corner in the 10th minute after more good work up the right. Drag flicking expert Fererico Bertoni stepped up, but was thwarted by the visitors number one runner who was extremely quick off the line to deflect the ball wide. 
 
Two minutes later Havant had their best opportunity of the game so far. Jonathan Pickett sent a long aerial from the back over the left half for Charlie Stubbings to collect the ball and run into the circle with only the keeper to beat. Charlie was very clinical in the execution and put Havant a goal up in the 13th minute, slightly against the run of play. 
 
The lead only lasted four minutes and the equaliser also came from a long aerial. A defender stepped up on the receiving forward and thought he had done enough to win a free hit so stopped playing, but his mis-judgement allowed the forward to run into the circle and slip the ball to Edwin Waters who made no mistake in the 17th minute. 
 
Havant slowly worked themselves into the game winning a second penalty corner in the 23rd Minute, but this was once again charged down. Olton & West Warwick went into the lead in the 29th minute when Tom Mallett put the visitors ahead after a free hit on the top of the circle was slipped to Tom who scored with a reverse shot into the netting.
 
Havant equaled Olton & West Warwick's intent in the second half and the visitors had to defend on numerous occasions. In the 40th minute Havant won their 3rd penalty corner after Charlie Stubbings had darted his way past several players to be eventually fouled in the circle.  The resulting drag flick was low but easily saved and cleared to safety. Olton & West Warwick picked up a yellow card in the 41st Minute and the numerical advantage saw the balance of play swing to Havant. 
 
Havant produced two very good attacks which came to nothing and Olton & West Warwick looked dangerous on the break as play moved from one end to the other. Maciej had to pull off a smart save in the 53rd minute after the visitors attacked along the bye line once again. A minute later Adam Bloomfield's shot was saved, but the rising rebound resulted in Havant's 4th penalty corner. This time Havant used a variation which saw an outstanding save from the Olton & West Warwick keeper from short range. 
 
Both sides had further chances, but the next and final goal fell to the visitors after another attack along the bye line resulting in the ball being pulled back to Martin Ebbage who flicked the ball high into the net in the 64th minute.
 
Havant continued to attack and in the 65th minute Ethan Hoddle was clear down the left. His cross shot in front of the keeper but Matt Boote despite slidding in could not get a touch on the ball. Olton & West Warwick won their first penalty corner in the 66th minute which was well saved by Maciej. 
 
Despite the result there were a good number of positives to be taken from the game. Olton & West Warwick were a good side and I am sure will be towards the top end of the table at the end of the season. We competed well, controlled parts of the game and created good opportunities.

Goals

Charlie Stubbings 1

Man of the Match

Christopher Smith