24/02/19 : Mens 1 vs Bath Buccaneers
Home - Havant College
Lost 2 - 3
Despite losing this game, Havant remain on top.
With due respect and not taking anything away from Bath Buccaneers, who played very well, Havant were heavy legged today not helped by a tough game yesterday against Cardiff, when having only 14 players in the squad restricted the rotation of substitutions.
Two soft first half goals were disappointing in a half where we were second best, but to Havant’s credit they came back strongly in the last 35 minutes and nearly did enough to share the spoils.
Havant could have taken an early lead within two minutes after Charlie Stubbings had moved the ball to his brother Jack who drove into the circle and crossed the ball to three waiting Havant forwards. Unfortunately, the cross was slightly behind the forwards and the ball was cleared to safety. In the early exchanges both sides keep possession well with Bath more successful in penetrating the opposition defence. They created an opportunity in the 10th minute winning a penalty corner which was charged down resulting in a shot over the Havant goal.
Bath’s two field goals in the 15th and 28th minutes were down to defensive errors. Firstly Stuart Rushmere latched onto a bouncing centre over a defenders stick to convert and then Harry Skinner's shot took a deflection off a defenders stick to put the visitors into a two goal lead. Bath had further first half chances, whilst Havant struggled to penetrate the Bath defence and "looked a yard behind the pace”.
Havant looked more dangerous in the second half and won their first penalty corner in the 41st minute after good work from Charlie Stubbings and Matt Cox. Federico Bertoni stepped up and hooked his flick well wide of the goal and one could not help but think it was going to be one of those days!
Havant were starting to roll up some pressure on the Bath defence and on 45 minutes Charlie Stubbings reverse stick centre into the Bath circle found his brother Jack who deflected the ball against the wrong side of the Bath up-right. This heralded a good spell for Havant, but just when Havant were getting on top by pushing numbers forward they were caught by a quick Bath counter attack resulting in unmarked forwards working the ball round Maciej Pacanowski; Ben Stone converted this counter attack in the 48th minute for a three goal lead.
To Havant’s full credit they did not capitulate and mounted a spirited comeback. It was obvious Havant were finding it difficult physically not helped by Bath double teaming a Havant man on the ball, but the intent was there and they never stopped running. In the 60th minute Federico Bertoni converted Havant’s second penalty corner to offer a slim chance of pulling back the deficit. Havant continued to press forward and were further rewarded in the 67th minute when Federico scored his second of the game sending an unstoppable flick against the side board from Havant’s third penalty corner.
In the last three minutes Havant pressed for an equaliser, but Bath held firm and won a penalty corner in the last minute of the game that was saved by Pacanowski.
Despite the loss Havant remain top of the table by three points