Havant and Waterlooville slipped to a 2-1 defeat against an Ebbsfleet United side who travelled to the Draper Tools Community Stadium looking to avenge their loss to Paul Doswell’s men, earlier in the campaign.
It proved to be a busy afternoon for referee Philip Staynings who dismissed the two managers as they went head to head in a touchline altercation just short of the interval.
Havant’s Theo Widdrington also saw red for a tackle on Chris Solly which sparked the former Charlton man to lash out at the Hawks midfielder, giving the referee no choice but to send them both for early baths just shy of the hour mark.
Soon after, Fleet skipper Lee Martin was sent off for a second bookable offence, meaning the away side would play the remainder of the game with nine.
Ultimately, goals either side of half-time from Rakish Bingham and Dominik Poleon ensured Ebbsfleet would leave with the three points. Craig Robson got the hosts on level terms early in the second period, but it wasn’t to be as they fell to defeat.
The visitors took the lead inside 3 minutes when Rakish Bingham met Alfie Egan’s pullback after goodwork down the right. A fine first-time finish from the striker passed Joe Tupper and found the bottom corner.
The Hawks grew into the game and almost equalised through Tony Lee just inside half an hour. Danny Kedwell lifted the ball into the box from the right which fell to Lee six yards out, but the striker couldn’t get the contact required and his header drifted wide of the post.
Lee continued to look threatening as the half went on. He did brilliantly to bring down a long ball over the top before firing an effort on goal, but Jordan Holmes did well to reach and claim at the second time of asking.
Before the half-time whistle went both managers would see red from referee Philip Staynings after an altercation following a decision on the field of play. Paul Doswell and Dennie Kutireb, it’s fair to say had differing opinions on the matter.
HT – Hawks 0 Ebbsfleet United 1
The Hawks started the second half the way the visitors started the first, and equalised through Craig Robson on 48 minutes. Kedwell did well to flick the ball to Lee following a long ball into the box and the striker pulled a decent save from Holmes. But the keeper could only palm it to Robson who finished comfortably.
Things got out of hand again – on the pitch this time – when Theo Widdrington went flying into a tackle of Chris Solly. Referee Staynings sent the Hawks midfielder off before reaching back into his pocket to dismiss Solly for his reaction which was to be considered violent conduct.
Ebbsfleet were soon reduced to nine men when their captain Lee Martin was next to receive his marching orders, picking up his second yellow card of the game following a foul on Josh Taylor on halfway.
It was nine-man Ebbsfleet to regain the lead with 10 minutes to play when substitute Dominik Poleon poked the ball under Tupper and into the net following good work to get into the box. The striker had only been on the pitch 30 seconds but he showed great composure to stay on his feet and finish across the keeper after getting through the Havant backline.
The home side should have rescued a point late on, but Joe Iaciofano’s header flew straight into the arms of Holmes after he powerfully met a Sam Magri cross.
Another disappointing day at the office for the Hawks who remain without a win in their last 5 games. Doswell’s side will pat themselves down and go again on Tuesday when they travel to Chippenham.
FT – HAWKS 1 Ebbsfleet United 2
Starting XI – Tupper, Magri, Robson, Straker, Williams, Clifford, Widdrington,Taylor, Wright, Kedwell, Wright
Subs used – Gomis, Deacon, Iaciofano
Subs not used – Rowe, Chambers-Parillon
By Ryan Honey