Roarie Deacon’s second half strike proved not to be enough as Portsmouth score twice, once in either half, to secure victory in our annual pre-season friendly at Westleigh Park.
The Hawks matched up well to their opponents three league higher and created an equal share of the chances during the game.
Portsmouth went in at the break 1-0 up thanks to Gareth Evans converting a penalty after Ellis Harrison was fouled in the box two minutes before the break.
Deacon equalised ten minutes after the restart before Pitman scored what proved to be the winner with ten minutes to play.
The Hawks started with the same XI which started Tuesday Night’s 3-1 victory over Bognor at Nyewood Lane. Ayunga and Deacon played as the front men with the reliable back line of Reid, Straker, Beckwith and Magri.
Havant had the games first opportunity five minutes in when Wes Fogden’s corner was played deep into the path of Beckwith who rose highest at the back-post but his header was held by MacGillivary who was impressive all afternoon in the Portsmouth goal.
Pompey’s first chance of note came 15 minutes in after a few opportunities prior. Gareth Evans switched the ball over to Ronan Curtis down the left flank who takes a touch before getting inside the penalty area and curling an effort just over.
Seconds later Andy Drury picked the ball up midway inside the Portsmouth half before playing out to Josh Taylor who’s effort went wide courtesy of a deflection.
Midway through the first half a great run by Louis Dennis for Portsmouth saw him run into the box with a brilliant diving header, matched spectacularly by Worner between the sticks for the Hawks.
Ten minutes before the break it was Straker’s turn to cause Kenny Jackett’s men problems when unmarked he crossed the ball into the path of Wes Fogden who’s looped header is held by MacGillivary.
With a matter of minutes before the interval Portsmouth were given a penalty when Dean Beckwith was deemed to have fouled Ellis Harrison inside the penalty area.
Gareth Evans stepped up to the spot who struck the ball powerfully down the middle to give Pompey the lead.
Portsmouth ended the half strong and forced Worner into a double save. The first came when Curtis tried another curling effort which was parried into the path of the lively Harrison who’s rebound was held by the Hawks Number one.
HALF-TIME: Hawks 0-1 Portsmouth
Both sides made changes at the break and throughout the second period, the wholesale substitutions expected this early on into Pre-Season.
Havant started the brighter of the two sides once the game restarted.
Five minutes after the restart Jonah Ayunga had a volleyed effort from the edge of the penalty area which was punched away by MacGillivary.
Then five minutes later the Hawks were on level terms thanks to Roarie Deacon. The damage was done by Chris Paul as he picked up on a lapse in concentration by the Portsmouth midfield before having Deacon down his left and Ayunga down his right as options, he elected to play the ball into Deacon who slotted the ball with his right foot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
With 25 minutes remaining Wes Fogden turned in the area before shooting from 12 yards out with his effort held by MacGillivary after good build up play by the Hawks.
After a quiet spell of 15 minutes where substitutions on both sides are made Portsmouth would hit the Hawks with a hammer blow ten minutes from time.
Brett Pitman picked up the ball inside the penalty area with his back to goal before turning and slotting the ball into the back of the net.
Five minutes from time Havant ramped up their efforts to try and claim a draw which would not have been unwarranted of their efforts.
Chris Paul with a free kick crossed into the box but was headed away by the Portsmouth defence before finding Magri who was poised and ready to head home.
Two minutes later Simon Walton almost caught everyone out with a free kick from an acute angle which seemed to be floated into the box. Walton went straight for goal but again MacGillivary held for Pompey.
FULL-TIME: Hawks 1-2 Portsmouth
Havant mustered all they could but the brilliant and class of Pitman and a Portsmouth side who are always well organised just edged a good encounter under the Westleigh Park sun.
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)
Starting XI: Worner, Read, Straker, Beckwith, Magri, Fogden (c), Drury, Ayunga, Deacon, Bailey, Taylor