11/02/18 : Mens 1 vs Olton & West Warwicks
Away - Grange Rd, Olton B91 1DA
Lost 2 - 4
Havant travelled to the midlands to face Olton & West Warwickshire HC and welcomed back James Lester to the squad after missing through work commitments.
The team started the game well with plenty of possession in the first few minutes. However they could not take advantage of this and soon found themselves behind to Olton’s first attack. Havant turned the ball over on the edge of Olton’s circle and after some slick passes and some help from the Havant defence, an unmarked Olton forward deflected the ball past a helpless Chris Bristow in the Havant goal.
The game restarted with again Havant having good possession. Matt Boote working well with Maciej Janiszewski down the left flank, but Olton’s defence held firm. Further attacks by Havant with Matt Cox linking with Craig Duffy and Adam Bloomfield did not trouble the Olton goalkeeper.
Olton then countered again in the 13minute and won their first penalty corner, which was well saved by Chris Bristow. From the resulting long corner Havant’s defence went asleep again and gave an Olton forward too much space and allowed him to drift to the top left of the circle where he struck an unstoppable backhand shot which flew into the roof of the net.
Havant must have thought it was not their day with two shots and two goals from Oltons clinical forwards. Havant again had good possession and pushed forward once again. Davis Taylor-Bargent linked well with Matt Cox, in midfield, who fed Maciej Janiszewski whose shot was well saved by the Olton goalkeeper.
Then in the 18th minute Olton countered again and made it three with another clinical finish.
To their credit the Havant players did not give up and continued to try to get a foothold in the game. Sam Hatherley then pushed forward down the left flank and linked with Adam Bloomfield who fed Maciej Janiszewski to get Havant on the scoresheet.
The first half soon came to a close and Havant needed to refocus and get back to their game plan.
The second half start in a similar way to the first with Havant having good possession but without really threatening. Havant won a couple of penalty corners in quick succession. The first effort well saved, but another was awarded for a lifted ball. Jonathan Pickett’s strike from the second corner was also well saved.
Then in the 42nd minute Havant won their 3rd Penalty corner and this was well converted by Matt Cox, and Havant were now back in the game. It looked as if Havant had Olton rattled and start to push for the equaliser.
Then in the 57 minute Maciej Janiszewski was clearly fouled at the top of the Olton circle but the umpire had not seen the offence and decided to give Maciej a green card and a 2 minute suspension. With Havant down to ten, Olton grabbed their fourth goal which was another counter attack and well finished by Havant old boy Steve Batten.
Havant pushed hard to get back into the game, with occasional sleet and snow showers making conditions tough for both sides. Havant then lost Adam Bloomfield to a green card and the game started to open up. Chris Bristow did well 1v1 with a breaking Olton forward to keep Havant in the game.
Good chance fell to Havant but the Olton goalkeeper made some good saves to preserve their lead. Sam Hatherley was next to receive a temporary suspension, picking up a harsh yellow card for a stick tackle.
The game finished 4-2 to Olton, and the Havant squad must stop giving teams a three goal lead before starting to play their best hockey.