Havant and Waterlooville sit favourably in the Vanarama National League South following a 3-1 victory over Poole Town at Tatnam.
Two late goals courtesy of Theo Lewis and Wes Fogden see the Hawks three points off top with three games in hand.
Jordan Rose failed a fitness test prior to kick and was replaced by Andreas Robinson whilst January player of the month Matt Tubbs was also ruled out with Alfie Rutherford coming on in his place.
The Hawks had the better of the opening 15 minutes with a flurry of corners but none could amount to anything significant.
The big talking point came 18 minutes in as Alfie Rutherford was brought down with the referee giving a free kick despite most fractions of the crowd thinking he pointed to the spot. The Poole goalkeeper Nick Hutchins was then sent off by referee Ian Fissenden and then a stoppage took place before the reserve keeper Tom Rees came on the field of play.
And Rees’ first job was to pick the ball out the back of the net as from the requisite free kick, Williams on the edge of the area floated the ball underneath the Poole Town wall in De Bruyne fashion and into the bottom right hand corner to give the Hawks the lead.
Half an hour in and Lewis nearly doubled the Hawks’ advantage as Prior headed the ball into his direction twisting and turning before putting the ball half an inch past the far post.
But four minutes before the interval Poole Town won a penalty when Andreas Robinson was deemed to have pushed Warren Bentley in the penalty area.
Bentley stepped up and he slots it into the bottom right hand corner sending Ryan Young the wrong way in the process to level the scores at the interval.
The Hawks would have superiority over their Bournemouth based opponents at the start of the second period with a string of chances. The first fell to Wes Fogden when Rory Williams played the ball into him but his header could only go a couple of yards wide.
Then seconds later the Hawks had an effort cleared off the line following a pinpoint header from Jason Prior.
The game boiled over temporarily ten minutes into the second period as Will Spetch fouled Harris before Spetch pushed Harris to the floor before being booked by the referee.
And from that free kick Rory Williams h.ad his effort saved superbly by Tom Rees who got down low to see it out for a corner.
Another hawks free kick 25 minutes from time saw Stock’s effort cleared off the line before falling for Williams who fired over.
The introduction of James Hayter saw the Hawks given that extra attacking dimension.
And 8 minutes from time it was Hayter that teed up Fogden who 1 on 1 with the Poole keeper could only put his effort wide.
But the Hawks did get that breakthrough 5 minutes from time as good build up play saw Williams feed the ball into the path of Theo Lewis who from 12 yards Cooley slotted home.
Seconds later the Hawks nearly made it 3 as the keeper fumbles the ball into the path of Fogden who then teed up Hayter but could only put it past the post.
But the Hawks wouldn’t be denied a third for long as Tarbuck’s cross teed up Wes Fogden who tapped the ball home to secure all 3 points.
And those three points sets the Hawks up nicely with 15 games left. Midweek spells a break from the league for the Hawks as they head to Cams Alders on Tuesday Night as they face Fareham Town in the semi-finals of the Portsmouth Senior Cup.