Scorers: Bean, Roberts, Boyne
MoM: Hamish Roberts
DoD: Ronan Taggart
After a big win last weekend, the first team had a tough away trip to a battling Havant who sit at the foot of the table yet to score a point.
With some pressure on to back up their run of good results, the trip had an air of ‘Stoke away on a rainy Wednesday evening’ about it for Canterbury, who had to quickly acclimatise to a slippery pitch and tricky conditions.
As the game got under way, an early green card saw Canterbury down a man and Havant have some early pressure, however it was the away side who managed to make the first real impact on the game with a penalty corner converted by Tom Bean to settle the nerves somewhat.
A string of half chances from both sides and a lack of real quality in the circles was telling of the conditions and the ardent Havant performance.
The home team came into the game rightly confident having had a number good performances behind them and they continued in this manner which was not reflective of their league position and this soon paid dividends.
Another card, this time yellow, for Canterbury saw Havant level through a back-hand strike which Chris Rea could do nothing about; then soon after, a second to take the lead into the break.
2-1 down at half-time and yet to really find any flow in the game, Canterbury came out for the second half battling and soon found themselves level through a deflection from Hamish Roberts.
Diverting the ball towards the goal, it’s path duly changed course, perhaps through the means of the goalkeepers stick, or as Hamish would argue, through the spin he put on the ball – we can let Havant’s highlight package (featuring Canterbury’s rather fetching new logo) answer that- and into the bottom corner.,
Hamish’s position and nouse to be in the right place was reward for some really top performances of late and rightly earned him MOM this week – I’m sure he will be checking for a text message again this week…
Canterbury continued to press and chances came and went with the Havant goalkeeper making some fine saves. However when Craig Boyne found himself unmarked on the top of the circle, the goalkeepers defence had no answer as Boyne put the ball high into the Havant net to take the lead and seemingly the wind from their sails.
That said, the home team mustered a flurry at the end, with Canterbury having to call on Matt Burton-Bowen to make a fantastic last-ditch block to spare Canterbury’s blushes.
With a 3-2 win, it was very much a sense of job done in a game where perhaps the performance wasn’t at it’s finest, but bringing three points back up the A3 was certainly a satisfying way to go into the Christmas break nonetheless.
The teams nearest rivals, Sevenoaks and Bath played out a scoreless draw to help Canterbury put a slither of daylight between them and the rest in second as they will look to close the gap to Reading in top spot come the new year.