Steve King and the Hawks look to find 3 points ahead of their Vanarama National League match to get closer out of the relegation zone, The Hawks take on Gary Johnson’s Torquay United who will be seeking to get back to winning ways after the Gulls lost 1-3 to Yeovil in the mid-week fixture. The last time both teams played each other was back in 2021 where the Hawks won 4-2 at home.
The Hawks began the first half eager to take the lead early on, but the visitors piled on the pressure with the Hawks defence struggling to clear the ball out leading to Ryan Hanson to take a crack from the centre of the box but dragged wide of the goal. The Hawks responded instantly with a corner down the other end of the pitch whipped in by Innocent into the feet of McCarthy who took his chance but saved by Rhys Lovett. The Hawks were given an early scare when Jebb gave the ball away in a dangerous part of the pitch allowing Brad Ash to get a one-on-one opportunity but struck straight into the hands of Ross Worner. The home side found a great opportunity to take the lead after Phillips found himself in a great area to take on the keeper from the edge of the box after Lovett gave the ball away but made up for it with a great save tipping the ball out for a corner.
Torquay began to get frustrated after having a lack of attacking chances, Ryan Hanson decided to take a shot from 35 yards, but the chance came to waste after it skied over the bar. There was a stop in play twice in the space of a few minutes after both Spence and Lovett had injury scares but both incidents didn’t lead to any first half substitutions closing into the break. Towards the end of the first half the Hawks almost found the opener after Phillips was taken down inside the box, but the referee didn’t blow for a penalty, the attacker caught the defence off guard getting up and firing the ball narrowly missing the frame of the goal. Havant continued to show their attacking threat in the latter stages of the first half, after the Torquay defence failed to clear the ball away it led to a cagey affair in the box, but Spence found the ball in his feet taking the half volley on but skying it over the bar.
The official added six added minutes to the end of the half following the two first half injuries stopping the game, Roberts took an early fee kick while all the Torquay back line was unaware whipping the ball into the feet of Phillips who wastes the chance with his shot on the edge of the box floating over the frame of the goal. Both teams were in for end-to-end action to find a goal in the last minute of the match. Phillips again troubled the Gulls defence with another one-on-one opportunity but saved by the feet of Lovett which was cleared out by Asa Hall; the ball bounced over the head of Stanley into the feet of Ethon Archer who cut in off the right wing taking a powerful strike, but Ross Worner made a phenomenal diving save to his left keeping both teams even at the break.
Half Time: Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 0 Torquay United
After the injury in the first half to Torquay’s Rhys Lovett, the visitors were forced into a half time change with Chalupnicziak coming on to replace him. The Hawks began the game with a kick off routine that worked out well with Roberts finding the ball in the edge of the box, whipping the ball into Seager who failed to connect with the volley; cleared out by Dean Moxey. Torquay looked more settled in the early stages of the second half creating many opportunities coming from the wings. Dean Moxey crossed the ball finding the boots of Lewis Collins; his shot came close to the target but dragged wide. Roberts caused havoc for the visitors finding space on the right wing and curling the ball for the top corner missing the target by a couple of inches building their way back into the game after Torquay began the second half the stronger side. Soon after, Torquay found the lead after a quick counterattack linking up Theo Williams and Ethon Archer opening the Hawks back line; Ethon Archer drilled the ball across goal into an unmarked Theo Williams who fired the ball past Ross Worner. The visitors soon almost found a second goal with Striker Theo Williams showing the threat of his pace and curling the ball from the left side of the box clipping the post and allowing the Hawks to wake up defensively for the remainder of the match.
Torquay were lucky to not go down to 10 men after Brad Ash committed a dangerous late tackle on Roberts causing some drama towards the dugout, but the referee hands out a yellow card instead. Havant’s struggles for any luck continues to struggle with the Faal missing the ball after a curled cross in from Roberts off the right-hand side of the pitch. Towards the end of the game the Hawks were given the penalty after Roberts went down inside the box; the winger stepped up to take the penalty but saved by the keeper allowing the visitors to keep in front. Havant almost found an equaliser in the 90th minute with Seager having an attempt at a half volley inside the box but misses the underside of the crossbar. The Gulls soon after went two in front again making use of the wide play and Bradley Ash pounced on to the end of the cross firing the ball into the roof of the net ending the match 0-2.
Full Time: Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 2 Torquay United
Report by Ollie Turner