Chris Paul’s strike with four minutes remaining secures a vital three points as the Hawks beat Chippenham Town 2-1 at Westleigh Park.
Paul latched on the end of Anthony Straker’s cross at the back post before netting in the bottom right hand corner to give the hosts the win late on.
Havant led the game midway through the second period thanks to Danny Kedwell’s penalty before the bluebirds equalised.
The victory sees the Hawks go within 6 points of Wealdstone at the top of the National League South.
Alfie Rutherford came in from the off in the only change from our last league game at home to Bath City three weeks ago.
The first chance of the game didn’t come until the 10th minute and when it came it fell to the hosts when Danny Kedwell got hold of the ball, lifted it up before he turned and volleyed the ball, parried away by Puddy in the Chippenham goal.
Three minutes later Jonah Ayunga had a sniff at goal from the edge of the box but his effort hit the side netting.
Midway through the first half Anthony Straker beat two players before playing a pin point pass into Kedwell who crossed along the line into Bradley Tarbuck who with a bicycle kick couldn’t steer the ball towards goal.
The bluebirds first chance came when Parselle from the best part of 25 yards out leathered the ball, but he could only find the side netting.
Six minutes before half time, a training ground free kick routine by the visitors almost came to fruition when they weaved their way across the box before a plethora of bodies threw themselves on the line when the cross came in, but no one could get that decisive final touch.
Up the other end just seconds later a Tarbuck corner was worked into Dean Beckwith whose header went narrowly over the bar.
HALF-TIME: Hawks 0-0 Chippenham Town
The first chance of the second half fell to the hosts when Rutherford broke free of the Chippenham defence before having a go at goal, but as he pulled the trigger, MacDonald at the back managed to get a slight deflection to send the ball onto the side netting.
With just under half an hour to go a melee in the middle of the field saw the visitors reduced to ten men. Youseff tangled with Tarbuck in the middle of the park, refusing to let go of the Hawks winger, with the referee stopping play a scrap became apparent with the referee sending off Youseff and booking Tarbuck.
A couple of minutes later the Hawks nearly made that man advantage count when Rutherford played a brilliant ball across goal into the path of Danny Kedwell who couldn’t slide in enough in front of goal to slide the ball into the back of the net.
However within 60 seconds Kedwell would get a chance to atone for the miss after Sam Magri was bundled to the deck inside the penalty area, the referee pointing to the spot.
The Hawks skipper stepped up before smashing the ball down the middle, sending Puddy over to his right to give the home side the advantage with just over 25 minutes remaining.
The lead would last the best part of a quarter of an hour when the bluebirds equalised with just over ten minutes to play and it was Chambers who knocked home from close range after a cross came into the area and a goalmouth scramble ensued with the ball falling into the strikers path.
Five minutes later Anthony Straker had an effort from outside the box hitting the side netting.
But with four minutes of normal time remaining Chris Paul came up with the vital header to put the Hawks back in front. Straker was pivotal in the build up, starting the move, before the ball was played out to Read down the right flank on the edge of the box, he laid it back to Straker who crossed the ball into the area, which was flicked on by Taylor which fell crisply for Paul who nodded home from the back post into the bottom right corner.
Chippenham had one big chance to equalise in added on time when the ball fell into the path of David Pratt on the edge of the box but as he came rushing goal bound, so did Worner and it was the Hawks ‘keeper that came out on top in that duel.
FULL-TIME: Hawks 2-1 Chippenham Town
Hawks XI: Worner, Straker, Beckwith, Magri, Kedwell (c), Ayunga, Tarbuck, Bailey, Robson, Taylor, Rutherford.
Subs on: Read, Paul
Subs not used: Latham, Walton, Flannigan
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)