24/03/19 : Mens 1 vs Chichester

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Won 3 - 1

Havant Men's 1s Crowned Conference West League Champions

A crowd of 250 spectators saw Havant win the West Conference league to earn themselves a place in the play offs for Premier League status.
It was clear from the first whistle that Havant were very nervous and within 30 seconds of the game Chichester won their first penalty corner after a defensive mistake gifted the visitors the opportunity. The ball was not stopped at the top of the circle, but Chichester did enough to feed the ball back into the circle to win a retake. The second attempt produced a shot wide of the goal.
In the fourth minute Chichester missed an almost open goal, but they put the ball the wrong side of the post when it looked easier to score than miss. In the 7th minute a slick move between Matt Cox and Mike Deller-Merricks presented Cox with a return pass in front of goal but his diving deflection went wide. 
Havant slowly started to get a foot hold in the game and began to test the Chichester defence. Atiq Arshad who arrived from Pakistan yesterday showed early signs of brilliance and worked well with Charlie Stubbings, who as usual was buzzing everywhere. Charlie created several opportunities driving into the circle, but there were no Havant forwards who could convert the chances.
Havant however did take a slightly fortuitous lead in the 18th minute after another Charlie Stubbings cross was saved by Chris Bristow in the Chichester goal, but the rebound ricochet to Ethan Hoddle and then off a defenders stick into the visitors goal.
This goal was completely over shadowed in the 33rd minute when Atiq Arshad picked up a lose ball and drove into the Chichester circle. As Chris Bristow came out to challenge, and fell to the ground, Asiq a current Pakistan International forward lifted the ball into the roof off the net with a clever reverse shot to give Havant a 2-0 half time lead.
After the re-start Havant won their first penalty corner in the 37th minute, which Bristow kept out with a double save. Bristow was in action two minutes later after Ethan Hoddle and Charlie Stubbings worked well together with only Bristow to beat, but Bristow rose to the challenge. 
The next goal was always going to be important and it fell to Chichester. A free hit out of defence was turned over in midfield and Chichester attacked into the right of the circle where Alex Messenger fired the ball past the un-sited Tim Hoare in the Havant goal. Despite this setback Havant picked up the pace and continued to probe the Chichester defence with a high number of circle entries. It was clear that Chichester tried to snuff out Matt Cox’s distribution from centre half, but Havant rotated players through midfield producing a number of options to attack.
Chichester counter attacked at every opportunity and won a penalty corner in the 53rd minute, which they switched to no effect, but won a retake. From this re-take Tim Hoare who deputised brilliantly for Maciej Pacanowski pulled off a great safe wide to his right. From this corner Havant created a quick break and won their second penalty corner of the game after Mike Deller-Merricks had found a Chichester foot in the circle. Once again Havant were thwarted with a double Bristow save.
Havant continued to look dangerous and were rewarded in the 66th minute from Havant’s third penalty corner. Once again Bristow saved the first flick, but it ballooned up into the air where Chris Smith volleyed the ball into the netting. Asiq Arshad from a very tight angle tested Bristow again but was denied. A late Havant penalty corner with two minutes left on the clock went wide and the game was played out to give Havant the victory and the much deserved league title.
A huge amount of credit goes to the squad, but without any doubt Raj Laly, Warren Gilmour and Steve Lawson masterminded the tactics as they have done all season and they should be congratulated for a job well done.


Ethan Hoddle 1
Atiq Arshad 1
Christopher Smith 1

Man of the Match

Atiq Arshad