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M1's Flatter to Deceive

01 November 2020, 14:00, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 1s 3 - 5 Havant Men's 1s

The M1’s entertained Havant on Sunday in National League One with the south coast outfit sitting bottom of the table without a win.  But Hawks were flat from the outset and despite taking a 2-1 lead into the first quarter break, they underperformed and allowed Havant to pose a constant threat throughout the game.  Hawks conceded a run of early penalty corners which Havant were unable to convert and when Hawks managed a circle entry of their own, the Havant GK could only parry a fierce Ted Bennett reverse stick strike onto his own defender and Jack Biggs stepped up to convert the resultant penalty corner.  Four minutes later Havant equalised from their fourth penalty corner attempt but only another two minutes had elapsed before Biggs converted Hawks’ second penalty corner after Tom Barrett and Alex Copestake had combined effectively.  From the second quarter onwards, Hawks lost their way badly.  The press that had served them well the week before against Canterbury constantly broke down and Havant deservedly equalised on twenty five minutes after Hawks had coughed up possession on the top of their own circle.  To make matters worse, Hawks conceded again in the very first minute of the second half when they turned over possession needlessly in their own half,  allowing Havant to move the ball swiftly into the circle and finish.  Hawks gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they applied pressure through a series of three penalty corners just before the third quarter break.  But the Havant keeper was in fine form and, even when beaten, another Biggs penalty corner effort was superbly cleared off the line.  With twelve minutes remaining Hawks drew level after Lewis Jowett worked the ball into the circle where Olie Lobo squeezed the ball towards goal for Freddie Smith to finish neatly from above his head. Finally with some momentum behind them, Hawks thought they might have a chance of snatching the game, but luck ran against them when not only was a Biggs PC attempt charged down in outstanding fashion by the Havant no.1 runner, but the ball fell kindly allowing Havant to mount a very swift counter attack with Hawks light on numbers at the back.  The overload resulted in Havant forcing a penalty stroke and with seven minutes left on the clock Havant converted to regain the lead at 4-3.  Two minutes later, Havant sealed a deserved win with a fifth goal, giving Hawks no time to recover.  Hawks could have no complaints about the result . . . they were well below par and Havant were clearly hungrier for the win.  A disappointing way to go into the next lockdown, but at least time to lick wounds and regroup.


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