The Hawks booked their place in round four of the FA Trophy as they battled to 1-0 victory over Braintree Town at the Draper Tools Community Stadium.
Roarie Deacon’s goal on 73 minutes meant Paul Doswell’s men would stretch their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions.
The opening exchanges were lively with the hosts seeing a lot of the ball, but they were unable to create anything to test Samuel Jackson in the Braintree goal.
As the blustering weather took its toll on the game, the closest any side came to taking the lead came on 35 minutes when Josh Taylor sent a low effort across goal from the edge of the penalty area. The Havant man dragged his shot just wide of the post but had Jackson scrambling.
HT – HAWKS 0 Braintree 0
The away side should have taken the lead shortly after the restart when Rondell Gordon’s shot deflected into the path of Taofiq Olomewewe. But the defender could only redirect the ball wide of the post.
It was a moment of quality that pushed the Hawks in front on 73 minutes. Benny Read was unleashed down the right and the fullback drove at pace before picking out Dannny Kedwell at the back post. Kedwell knocked it down for Roarie Deacon and the substitute fired home.
Doswell’s men almost doubled their lead soon after when Tommy Wright raced through on goal. But the striker’s shot trickled agonisingly past the far post.
The Hawks kept pushing for that two-goal cushion and almost got it in fantastic style late on. Good work from Wright to find Kedwell who was unmarked on the edge of the area. The striker let fly with the outside of his right boot, but it curled narrowly wide.
Havant now turn their attention back to league matters when they travel to Welling United next Tuesday.
FT – HAWKS 1 Braintree Town 0
STARTING XI – Worner, Read, Magri, Robson, Straker, Poku, Gomis, Taylor, Ajakaiye, Wright, Iaciofano
Subs used – Rowe, Deacon, Kedwell
Subs not used – Tupper, Walton, Sinclair
By Ryan Honey