The high-flying 6s made the short trip to Haslemere with the worst of the days rain dissipating and spirits flying high. An 8-0 dismantling of Fleet & Ewshot two weeks ago and a week off last week were a recipe for fresh legs and optimism - and plenty of poor banter from Alex Bolton, who seemed keen to make up for lost time.This week’s opposition were fellow promotees Haslemere who gave the squad one tough match last season but failed to show up to their own home game last year, a situation the team hoped would not be repeated. Havant arrived first and we waited with bated breath for opposition to arrive, and thankfully they did, although doing so even later than “fashionably late” Alex Leach who turned up to shakedown his teammates for £20 each. He has assured us this is for charity (seriously buy one of the hats it’s for a good cause).
The teams on before us decided they fancied a 90-minute game, so the 6th XI’s famously rigorous cardio and stretching warmup regimen was reduced to 5 minutes of stray passing and remembering to put shin pads on. Despite this infraction on our human rights, we did what we do best – start strong. Alex Leach, now £200 richer, at least gave us our money’s worth with a series of excellent offensive moves that culminated in a well taken shot from the right side of the circle. 1-0 and him scoring means I’m contractually obliged to again prompt the reader to please support the big bobble hats this winter!
Haslemere had a tough time adjusting to the pace that the Havant side dictated. The ever-dependable AR was once again the bane of the opposition midfield, and his work with Ben Hegan provided passes-a-plenty to the Havant forwards. Some last-ditch tackling from the Haslemere defence did enough to snuff a few chances, but the tide never turned, and Havant nabbed a second through Sam Webster’s push past the keeper’s left foot.
To be fair to the Haslemere side, they produced some promising attacks of their own, but the stalwart pair of AJ and DT scuppered the best of their chances- meaning most of Bolton’s activity in the first half was loud shouting from the 25 yard line. When Haslemere did manage to push forward, the quick counter-attack was always on for Havant and one such attack spilled past the last defender to be chased down by Sheff, who calmly slotted a reverse past the sliding keeper for his 4th in as many games.
So, Havant found themselves 3-0 up as the half rolled around, and little needed to be said other than to address the slightly wayward passing that had plagued the first half. Other than that, not a bad half.
Havant started strong again, adding a fourth goal mere minutes after the break. A good shot forced a smart save from the Haslemere keeper but the ball fell to Sam Webster who smartly flicked over the downed man for his second of the day. The second half differed little from the first and was characterised by smart pressing from Havant that disrupted much of the Haslemere play. The defensive group were exemplary all game and demonstrated to all watching why the 6s have only conceded 1 league goal since the opening game.
AR almost capped off a superb performance with a goal, but his thunderous strike drew a self-preserving deflection from Sam Webster who instead completed his hat-trick in style. With the game pretty much over at 5-0, the Havant attacks became almost constant for much of the half and further goals were added by Will Hawkins and Sam (again). Will latched on to a through ball and rounded the keeper to fire into the empty net, and Sam added his fourth through a drag flick from a penalty corner.
With a final score of 7-0, the hardest part of the day was deciding man of the match. DT had a vote for his defensive efforts and multiple votes were in favour of Alex Leach and Ben Hegan, who both deserved reports of their own. However, the scoring of a hattrick always warrants MoM (except when it’s Sheff) so the honour went to Sam Webster – and deservedly so.
Thanks to the British Government’s clear-as-mud guidelines on the new Covid-19 situation, it remains to be seen if there is a game next week, but if not then we rounded off in style and we’ll go again in December!
Scorers – Sam Webster (4), Will Hawkins, Paul Shefferd and Alex LeachMoM – Sam WebsterDoD – Harry Pescott for shaving his beard and looking 14 again