Hawks host Welling United in National League South opener


Havant and Waterlooville welcome Welling United to the Draper Tools Community Stadium as the league season gets underway.


Last campaign before being brought to a halt, the two teams found themselves in contrasting positions. The Hawks in a fight for promotion to the National League, whilst Welling were left in relegation territory.


This season represents a completely fresh slate and both teams will be looking to kick-off with victory on opening day.


No meeting between the two sides after 14 games last year means their last encounter came back in 2019. A 1-1 draw at Westleigh Park with Roarie Deacon on target for Paul Doswell’s side.


In a seven-week long preseason, injuries have struck at the wrong time for Manager Doswell with Jamie Collins, Sam Magri, Benny Read and Paul Rooney all sidelined. This could mean newly confirmed additions Oscar Gobern and Emmanuel Adebowale could both be thrown into the action come 3pm Saturday.


It’s been a busy summer for the Hawks, attacking threats James Roberts and Scott Rendell will be looking to continue their fine preseason form into the league, while Abdulai Baggie has started to find his feet after his move from Eastleigh with an impressive cameo against AFC Totton last time out.


The Wings come into this game off the back of a winless preseason, losses against Folkestone, Worthing and League One side Charlton Athletic all coming in the month of July.


Havant enjoyed two wins against local opponents in the shape of Gosport and Horndean whilst also picking up an impressive 0-0 draw away to Bristol Rovers. The Hawks showed promise in their three defeats to Portsmouth, Bognor Regis and Totton.


Ryan Honey