Hughes: Let’s take positives
South Premier 1 Havant 2 Staines 1 “DESPITE the result, we can take a lot from the game,” declared Staines' Geraint Hughes.
“We defended well, got some passing momentum and looked dangerous.”
That was the assessment after defeat against promotion challengers which proved a much sterner test following the 6-2 win against Purley in the previous clash. Havant had been scoring goals for fun, especially from their penalty-corner team headed up by ex-India skipper Sandeep Singh.
Staines keeper Rob Burrows was not threatened until Havant forced a penalty corner after 10 minutes, the flick guided to safety around the post by Ben Green.
The pace of Matt Wells and Chris Collins in midfield gave Staines an attacking threat and Wells soon sent in a back-hand shot which travelled just over the bar.
Havant broke the deadlock and Staines were put under some serious pressure for the rest of the first half, but some good defensive work by skipper Ed Green, Jimmy Smith and Ben Green kept Purley out.
However, with less than a minute left to half time Staines conceded again and they had it all to do in the second half.
James Chapman and Stuart Hall marshalled the midfield well and Hughes picked off loose Havant passes from the back, Staines rallying well.
Super blocks from Burrows helped and more fluent Staines attacks led to a goal when James Laszlo and Matt Philpott worked in from the left, the cross finding Chris Collins who tapped in at the far post.
Upbeat: Ashford skipper