About Match

 

Three first half strikes proved to be enough as the Hawks returned to winning ways following a 3-1 win over Hungerford Town at Bulpit Lane. 

Strikes by Alfie Rutherford, Danny Kedwell, and Wes Fogden in the opening period saw the Hawks take control of the game against the Crusaders with a last minute consolation by James Rusby giving them a goal to show for their dogged efforts.

The wins sees Havant fifth in the table, handily placed with games in hand on the teams directly above in the National League South table.

Paul Doswell welcomed back Joe Cook to the fold after calling him back from his loan spell at Bognor Regis Town, and came straight into the starting XI with Benny Read and Alfie Rutherford also getting starts.

In what was an even opening quarter of an hour of the game, it was the visitors that had the first opportunity when Rutherford went for goal with Adam Siviter in the Hungerford goal rushing out, blocked as far as Fogden who had his effort blocked before the third was skied over the bar.

Ten minutes later Drury down the right flank played the ball short into the path of Fogden before firing a cross into Cook who’s header went narrowly over the bar.

Midway through the opening period, the Hawks got their noses in front when a Nicky Bailey free kick found Read before teeing up Rutherford who nodded home at the near post.

Hungerford had a near perfect response to the goal when a free kick goes into Dan Bailey who’s header looped over Ross Worner but also over the frame of goal.

On the half hour Havant had two chances within the space of a minute when first Taylor cut in from the left hand side before he fired an effort from 30 yards out just wide of goal before seconds later Rutherford down the right side slipped through Kedwell at the back post who saw his header saved brilliantly by Siviter.

And then five minutes before the break, the Hawks’ talisman struck sweetly to double the lead when from the best part of 30 yards out on the volley the ball left his foot perfectly with its trajectory heading one way, to the back of the net, and the bottom left corner, leaving Siviter with nothing to do bar pick the ball out the back of his net.

Then, right on the stroke of half time that lead became three when Wes Fogden raised Kedwell’s strike with a wonder strike of his own.

Fogden gained possession on the edge of the box before bringing it down and smashes a volley on his right foot into the top right corner past a helpless Siviter.

Half-Time: Hungerford Town 0-3 Hawks

As play got back underway, the Hawks were looking for the fourth goal which really would have put the Crusaders under the cosh when three separate attempts were cleared off the line, with Doswell’s side scratching their heads as to how they hadn’t scored a fourth.

Seven minutes later, Bailey went for goal on the volley for the Hawks, sweetly struck, but straight at Siviter’s throat.

But, Hungerford showed a never say die attitude and continued to press forward and nearly reaped rewards from it when a ball came into the box towards Rusby who’s header is spectacularly cleared off the line by Simon Walton.

Just after the hour mark Drury played a corner in before being connected by Cook who heads the ball down, but again another goal line clearance scupper the Hawks.

A minute later, Rutherford went for goal from the edge of the area, the power of the strike forcing the Crusaders ‘keeper to parry the ball with his left hand.

Jake Flannigan came on for Wes Fogden with just under 25 minutes to play and the former Southampton Academy graduate almost made an instant impact.

After a good run by Rutherford, he picked out Taylor who then played the ball into Flannigan’s path but his header went over the bar.

The Hungerford threat still lingered and loomed largely with 20 minutes to play when another dangerous corner into the area saw Cook needing to clear his goal line to preserve the clean sheet.

Chris Paul replaced Drury with a quarter of an hour remaining, and with ten minutes to play came within a whisker of scoring the Hawks’ fourth of the afternoon.

Breaking free and slipped through by Kedwell, the former QPR starlet raced his way free of danger before cutting inside in the box, with Siviter on rushing, he slots the ball past him but the post came to deny him a second goal of the season.

However, Hungerford got their goal back with seconds of normal time to play when from close range Lynch poked home to bring the score back to 3-1.

Full-Time: Hungerford Town 1-3 Hawks

Starting XI: Worner, Read, Straker, Walton, Fogden, Drury, Kedwell (c), Bailey, Taylor, Cook, Rutherford

Subs on: Tarbuck, Flannigan, Paul

Subs not used: Beckwith, Magri

By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)