Roarie Deacon’s first half penalty miss proved vital as the Hawks drew 0-0 with ex manager Lee Bradbury’s Eastbourne Borough at Westleigh Park.
In a game savaged by the glazing heat at Westleigh Park, the Hawks created numerous opportunities but failed to break down a stubborn Sports backline.
The point keeps the Hawks’ unbeaten start to the season intact following our seventh league game of the season.
The key change made by Paul Doswell was enforced as Alfie Rutherford was ruled out with a deadleg, Roarie Deacon came into the side.
It was a quiet opening to the game in the fierce heat at Westleigh Park.
The first chance came nine minutes in when Wes Fogden won the ball off Kiran Kindha-John before playing in Roarie Deacon but his cross was deflected by the Borough defence.
Ten minutes later Nicky Bailey launched a free kick from 40 yards out into the path of Simon Walton, but the cross just illuded him as the Hawks started to press forward at more of a canter.
Midway through the half the Hawks had two opportunities in a matter of minutes.
The first came when Andy Drury elected to have a crack at goal from the best part of 30 yards out, but his effort was held by Salder in the Sports goal.
Then seconds later Ayunga got the better of Khina-John before finding Drury who in turn finds Roarie Deacon who bought the ball down on his chest before playing into Josh Taylor whose first touch was too heavy meaning he was left in an acute position and his effort held by Hadler as the Hawks continued to press in search of an opener.
On the half hour mark Wes Fogden was the latest to come close when Roarie Deacon played a pinpoint pass into his path on the overlap before his effort was saved by Hadler.
Two minutes later the superb Sam Magri drove forward at will before finding Deacon who found Benny Read rampaging down the right hand side before moving inside on the ball before having an effort which is well held by Hadler.
Five minutes before half time the Hawks came so close to breaking the deadlock when Taylor picked the ball up from 12 yards out unmarked before cutting inside and went for a curling effrt which ricoshaded off the crossbar before coming out the other side.
However on the strike of half time the Hawks had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Hadler tripped Taylor inside the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Roarie Deacon, who from 12 yards out saw his penalty go over the bar.
Half-Time – HAWKS 0-0 Eastbourne Borough
Havant came out for the second half looking to strike an early blow to a Sports defence which was holding firm in the opening period.
Four minutes after the restart Benny Read controlled the ball well to keep it in play before finding Roarie Deacon who’s cross is deflected out of play.
Five minutes later the Hawks came very close to breaking that deadlock with three efforts on the bounce. First of Ayunga tried his luck from close range his effort parried as far as Fogden who’s effort is blocked before falling to Andy Drury with his effort from the edge of the area having the same frustrating outcome.
With less than half an hour left Sam Magri made a crucial interception to stop Eastbourne from coming forward with a threatening attack. The Maltese International stopped Ayman Gharbaoui right in his tracks as we looked to get through on goal with just Worner to beat.
Then seven minutes later Ross Worner was called in for a vital interception when Elliot Romain elected to go for goal from the best part of 25 yards out before his effort was palmed over the bar by the Hawks ‘keeper.
Danny Kedwell and Bradley Tarbuck came on for the final quarter of an hour and the former nearly put the home team infront with his first touch. Roarie Deacon down the left hand side wrapped his foot around the ball before crossing into the box towards Kedwell, who couldn’t steer his header goalbound from close range.
Five minutes later on it was again the ariel threat which nearly undone Eastbourne when Magri ran along the left hand flank before playing a cross into the area to Jonah Ayunga who’s bullet header went narrowly wide of goal as the Hawks’ frustration in attack continued to come to the forefront.
With just four minutes of normal time left to play Sam Magri this time elected to go for goal when his volley from the edge of the area went narrowly over the frame of the goal.
As the board for three additional minutes loomed large, the Hawks still had a further two throws of the dice as they threw the kitchen sink in search of a breakthrough.
First, Nicky Bailey from 25 yards out had a free kick, similar to the one he scored on Saturday, but despite wrapping his foot around the ball he was unable to nestle it into the top right corner.
And with seconds left to play Danny Kedwell played a pinpoint ball across to Deacon who’s header is blocked from close range to sum up a frustrating afternoon infront of goal.
Full-Time – HAWKS 0-0 Eastbourne Borough
Havant’s unbeaten record continues in front of a barmy crowd and on a blisteringly hot day at Westleigh Park.
Hawks XI: Worner, Read, Straker, Walton, Magri, Fogden (C), Drury, Ayunga, Deacon, Bailey, Taylor
Subs On: Kedwell, Tarbuck
Subs not used: Beckwith, Cook, Paul
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)