Scorers: Ronan Taggart x2, Tom Bean, Toby Vaughan, Conor Annand
MoM: Ronan Taggart
DoD: Conor Annand
The first home game of the season welcomed Havant to the Polo Farm on a gloomy day but Canterbury’s quick start soon lightened the mood with Ronan Taggart scoring his first goal for the club after a mazy individual run around the baseline and finishing in innovative fashion.
Being quick out of the blocks is something the coaching staff have been requesting from the team and from the first two games of the season, strong starts have been a feature, putting the Canterbury onto the front foot from the outset.
However, a momentary lapse of concentration did see Havant manage to pull back an equaliser a few minutes later, adding to the drama of a fast, competitive start from both sides!
As the game began to settle and Canterbury started to control the possession, the ever-animated Polo Farm crowd played their part, cheering on a flurry of chances that were well-saved from Havant’s Polish International goalkeeper.
A searching ball from Rich Keir to the back post was just missed by Tom Degiovanni, leading to calls from the crowd for Keiro to ‘just find the rigging’s yourself!’ Moments later, Rich was at it again and against the supporters wishes, he found a foot in the circle to win a penalty corner which was duly converted by Tom Bean to reinstate the Canterbury lead.
Much the same followed, built upon assured performances at the back, notably from James Henderson who regularly intercepted passes to set up new attacks. Canterbury soon extended their lead with another corner squirting it’s way to Toby Vaughan to sweep home and make it 3-1.
At a crucial period in the game, just before half-time, Havant were given a lifeline – after 5 penalty corners were either run down or saved by the Canterbury PCD group, Havant were eventually awarded a stroke. The daunting figure of Nathan Redman, towering in the goal was enough to force the Havant stroke wide and protect the 3-1 lead going into the break.
Although buoyed by their first half performance, David Bunyan was keen to manage the excitement at half-time, knowing that the next goal of the game would be crucial.
Canterbury managed to weather an influx of energy from the Havant side and developed a strong foothold on the game, controlling the ball and limiting the opposition to sporadic counter-attacks – counter-attacks punctuated by the glorious sight of Toby flying through the air to middle a volley out over the hedges and far far away!
The space soon opened up as Havant tired and chances were aplenty. With some fantastic pressing from Callum Brown-Lea, Canterbury were quick to win the ball back and Conor Annand was gifted numerous chances, the third completing his hat trick of push passes straight at the opposition goal-keeper – DOD-worthy finishing!!
Eventually Conor did get his moment and managed to squeeze the ball over the line for his second of the season. At 4-1, Canterbury weren’t content to step off and continued to press and create chances which on another day could quite-conceivably have seen the score line doubled.
There was however enough time to add one more with Ronan completing his brace, bundling the ball over the line after a similarly direct run to his first. A clinical performance from the new Canterbury forward was enough to earn him his first MOM of the season on home debut… not a bad days work!
The 1st XI host Southgate at the Polo Farm again next Sunday, with push-back at 12:45 in what’s set to be a belter of a game – we look forward to seeing another lively, albeit socially-distanced crowd to carry us along to what we hope will be another mature performance!