“This is a promotion push for us, we are not here to finish mid table.” Havant & Waterlooville assistant manager Ian Baird insists The Hawks mean serious business after a strong win away to St.Albans City.
An impressive all-round performance on the road was enough to secure the three points to send The Hawks up the league into 2nd spot.
A brace from Jonah Ayunga and a penalty from Danny Kedwell was enough to see off The Saints but they put up a fight.
It took an incredible double save from Ross Worner to keep The Hawks in front and Baird was nothing less than amazed that he managed to keep the ball out of the net.
“I think my heart rate went up to about 160 at one point, an incredible double save from Ross Worner on the penalty and a tremendous block from Dean Beckwith.
“Overall, I think that we obviously deserved the win, once again we missed a catalogue of chances and we totally dominated the first half without putting it to bed which has been the tale of the season really.
“I did say to the players at half time that the next goal could win the game and unfortunately for us they scored it.
“We were right under pressure, the wind seemed to turn and anyone who has played here will know that coming up the slope at St.Albans is difficult.
“We really couldn’t clear our lines and we under a bit of pressure, but Jonah Ayunga scored a great goal-scorers goal.
“He got two today and an outstanding performance as well so luckily enough we finished it off but as I’ve just mentioned there on the penalty an unbelievable double save, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it so that’s credit to Ross Worner but credit to the players as well, they dug in through difficult conditions and we’ve come away with the points.”
Baird who joined the club in the summer along with Paul Doswell praised the attitude of the team to grind out an important result.
“No disrespect to St.Albans but their level and their budget is totally different to ours but that doesn’t always mean that the side with a bigger budget is going to win.
“We had to dig in at times but overall I think anyone who was here would say that we deserved the three points that’s for sure.”
Baird mentioned how well the team did to weather the storm from The Saints as they chased the all-important equaliser prior to Ayunga’s second of the match.
“We were defending the slope and it was a good time to score for us but once again we got a little bit sloppy and it was an innocuous penalty.
“I think the referee was always going to level it up because Ian Allinson (St.Albans manager) got into him at half time and he gave some strange, strange decisions in the second half but we go back to Worner’s double save, that’s worth the money just seeing that.”
Baird rounded off his post-match thoughts by looking ahead to the next game in the league.
“Slough Town are flying at the moment; they’ve got their tails up it will be a difficult game for us but we are looking forward to it coming off the back of two wins.
“Doswell has said it is a promotion push for us, we are not here to finish mid table. We have been given the tools to work with and hopefully we can get promoted so its vital for us to get three points.”
By Liam Rice (@Liam_Rice9)