Havant and Waterlooville travelled to The Memorial Stadium off the back of a disappointing preseason defeat at home to Bognor last time out, and gave a good account of themselves, battling out a 0-0 draw against League Two opposition.
With Manager Paul Doswell away, Assistant Manager Ian Baird took the reigns and guided his team to a well-deserved draw.
Tommy Wright went the closest to opening the scoring inside the first 15 minutes when he ran clean through on goal following a Scott Rendell flick-on. The striker’s effort was saved well by Jaakkola who came out quickly.
The hosts responded with a chance of their own, as Luke Thomas’ inviting cross almost found the back of the net. After looping over a helpless Ross Worner, Sam Magri did well to clear the ball off the line and away to safety.
It wasn’t long before Havant created another chance as Jamie Collins got round the back to meet a deep inswinging cross. The defender did well to cushion the ball back to Paul Rooney but the midfielder couldn’t sort his feet out and the chance went begging.
Rovers thought they’d opened the scoring on the brink of half-time but captain Joe Oastler did brilliantly to deny Aaron Collins a tap-in following good work from Trevor Clarke down the left.
HT Bristol Rovers 0 HAWKS 0
Both teams picked up where they left off and were quick to take the game to one another in the second-half.
Paul Rooney went close from range for Havant but his effort rebounded back off the upright, whilst Bristol Rovers’ lively Thomas pulled a fine save from Worner as his close range shot was heading for the bottom corner.
The Gas could and really should have taken the lead on 75 minutes when Thomas slid Ryan Jones through on goal, but Worner came rushing out to smother the ball to safety.
In a game which could have gone either way, goalless after 90 minutes meant it would end all square. A tough test for the Hawks, but they were resolute and thoroughly deserved the result. Their attention now turns to Gosport Borough on Saturday.
FT – Bristol Rovers 0 HAWKS 0
Hawks starting XI – Worner, Passley, Magri, Oastler (c), Collins, Newton, Rooney, McCarthy, Roberts, Wright, Rendell
Subs used – Mclennan, Widdrington, Clifford, Baggie, Wall
Subs not used – Searle, Green
Written by: Ryan Honey