The Hawks kicked off their 2020/21 campaign today with a 3-1 against AFC Totton. Just four weeks after their play-off heartbreak, the side came back looking fit ahead of the new season!
Doswell’s side started the brighter, but it was Totton who had the first major chance after 9 minutes, when Sam Griffen worked the trialist keeper in the Hawks’ net.
Totton gained confidence from that chance and were soon in front. Winger Ethan Taylor took aim from range, and after a wicked deflection, the ball wrongfooted the keeper and found the bottom corner to give them the lead.
It didn’t take long for Havant to really take control of the game, moving the ball with purpose trying to break down a stubborn Totton defence that sat back after going ahead. After intricate footwork from Bedsente Gomis drew a foul on the edge of the area, Billy Clifford had a chance to test the Totton keeper, but his effort only found the wall.
The momentum was building for the away side and they levelled on 25 minutes. Good work down the left from one of the trialists who turned the ball inside to Joe Iaciofano. He expertly found the back of the net, hitting the ball first time across keeper Amaduesz Skrzyniarz.
Hawks comfortably controlled possession as they looked to play through the thirds. But it was a long boot up field from Moussa Diarra that created the next notable opportunity. Unfortunately, Tommy Wright was unable to square the ball to Laciafano who was unmarked in the middle.
The away side notched infront just before the break, as Iaciafano finished from a tight angle. Good work from Billy Clifford in the middle, before finding Iaficanio in the penalty area. It looked like the chance had gone, but he found a way to squeeze it under Skrzyniarz.
Despite a number of changes at the break, Havant looked comfortable once again in possession early on. But it was the home team to threaten first when on 57 minutes, Robin Nicholls went clean through on goal but put the ball marginally over the crossbar.
Doswell’s men looked to have doubled their advantage moments later when Benny Read got away down the right. The full-back powered past Mitchell Byrne before firing the ball across to a trialist who’s effort failed to trouble the Totton goal.
The chances were starting to come thick and fast for the away side as defender Sam Magri leapt highest from a corner, only for his header to be denied by a super stop from Skrzyniarz who prevented the ball finding the top corner.
Havant did double their advantage on 75 minutes. Pure brilliance from the trialist on the left side of midfield who picked up the ball on the edge of the area. He ghosted past several Totton defenders before showing great composure to slot it home.
The Hawks ended the game strongly and really should have had four. The left-sided trialist had a fantastic chance to double his tally for the day, when the ball found its way to him inside the area on 86 minutes. But after shifting the ball onto his right foot, his half-volley went narrowly wide.
A comfortable first day back at the office for the Hawks who start their pre-season with a win.