04/02/18 : Mens 1 vs University of Exeter
Home - Havant College
Drew 2 - 2
Havant maintained their unbeaten home league record, but had to come back from two goals down in an evenly balanced game against the league leaders.
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Havant made the better start creating a half chance for Mike Deller-Merricks, whose diving deflection went wide of the visitors goal. Four minutes later the energetic Maciej Janiszewski received the ball unmarked in the circle, but Andrew Gayler, the Exeter goalkeeper snuffed out the opportunity. Havant controlled the first twenty minutes and the majority of the play was in the Exeter University half. After 20 minutes the visitors worked themselves into the game with periods of possession. During one of these periods Exeter University took the lead in the 25th minute when Duncan Scott drifted his way into the Havant circle and sent a reverse shot through a melee of players beating the un-sighted Bristow in the home goal.
Immediately from the re-start Havant could and perhaps should have equalised after Matthew Boote had a one on one with the Exeter keeper. Gayler in goal saved the first attempt with the rebound falling to Adam Bloomfield, but he was unable to hit the target and the chance had gone. Havant did win their first penalty corner in the 27th minute when new boy Michal Dawid was fouled in the circle; the resulting corner broke down at the top of the circle. When considering the run of play Havant were unfortunate to go into the half time break trailing the visitors.
The second half could not of got off to a worse start after Exeter University went 2-0 up after a soft goal. Exeter were allowed to force their way up their right wing and along the bye line, slipping the ball into Conor Caplan who forced the ball over the line three minutes after the restart. With this second goal it seemed a long way back, but Havant to their full credit were in no mood to relinquish the initiative.
Havant won their second penalty corner in the 45th minute and worked a variation, but the deflection went wide of the goal. Exeter were beginning to control the game winning turnovers in midfield and breaking quickly forward. Their forwards were direct and fast and one such break away nearly caught out Havant as the ball was moved to an unmarked forward who entered the home circle, but some excellent defending by Sam Hatherely broke down the attack. Exeter were having their best spell of the game and Chris Bristow in the Havant goal had to pull off a good open play save to keep Havant in the game. It was Bristow once again who denied the visitors with a low diving save to his right at Exeter’s first penalty corner in the 54th minute.
Not for the first time this season, it was Sam Hatherely on one of his attacking forays that brought Havant back into the game. Sam collected the ball outside the 23 yard line and eliminated two defenders before he cleverly lifted the ball over a defenders stick in the circle allowing him to send an unstoppable reverse shot into the far corner of the university goal.
From the restart Exeter went down to ten after a green card, as Havant sensed another goal was a real possibility. Exeter did have a good opportunity to defuse Havant’s enthusiasm after another quick break forced Bristow out of his circle, where the ball hit his body. The resulting penalty corner broke down and the quick thinking Craig Duffy started a counter attack which was rewarded in the 68th minute when Ethan Hoddle got the last touch on the ball as it ricocheted between players in front of goal to level the score.
In the last minute Mike Deller-Merricks had the opportunity to win all three points for Havant, but his shot on goal was well saved by Gayler and the points were shared.
Ethan Hoddle 1
Sam Hatherley 1