|Havant & Waterlooville 4|
|J. Hayter (10), T. Lewis (38), G. Barker (62), A. Rutherford (90)|
|Canvey Island 0|
On a wet day on the south coast the Hawks had too much quality all over the pitch, making the most of some poor marking from Canvey to score twice in both halves and record their seventh straight victory.
Manager Danny Heale made two changes from the side that drew 3-3 away to Needham Market, bringing in Luis Morrison at right back and Joey May in central midfield in place of Jake Pitty and Omarr Lawson respectively.
The home side meanwhile featured goalkeeper Ryan Young between the sticks who 13 seasons earlier was part of the Hednesford Town side that beat Canvey 3-2 in the FA Trophy Final at Villa Park.
Havant took the lead in the tenth minute when a cross from the left wing found striker James Hayter unmarked inside the area who used the slippery surface to his advantage by sliding in to tuck the ball just inside the near post.
It should have been 2-0 on 19 minutes when some good work down the right wing from Ben Swallow allowed him to play the ball back to Andreas Robinson. The defender sent an accurate cross into the area and found James Hayter unmarked once again, but this time his effort with his head went wide when well placed.
Canvey’s first site at goal came two minutes later when some patient build-up play out on the right ended with Lee O’Leary laying the ball off for central midfield partner Joe May to strike. May’s shot bounced five-yards before goalkeeper Ryan Young and skidded off of the surface, but Young did well to dive low to his right to tip the ball behind for a corner.
Joey May was involved again on 34 minutes when he delivered a dangerous free kick into the area from just inside the Havant half. The set piece found the head of Steve Sheehan who diverted it goalwards but straight at Ryan Young to made the save.
The Havant player that was causing the Gulls the most trouble was right winger Ben Swallow who was giving Canvey’s left-sided players Harrison Chatting and Ashley Dumas several problems with his first touch and dribbling ability.
On 35 minutes he struck a decent shot in a central position from 25 yards towards the top corner which Conor Gough was well positioned to pluck out of the air.
Three minutes later Swallow was instrumental in Havant doubling their advantage. Having gotten the better of Ashley Dumas at left back, Swallow sent an inch-perfect cross to the back post for Theo Lewis to head home unopposed.
Swallow came very close to making it 3-0 in the final minute of the first half when he collected Ashley Dumas’ headed clearance on the edge of the area unmarked – something that had occurred far too often in the first half for Canvey. Swallow struck a goalbound shot towards the bottom corner but couldn’t beat Conor Gough who saved with a smart stop diving low to his right.
The home side started the second half as strongly as they finished the first with Matt Paterson testing Conor Gough on more than one occasion without being able to beat the big keeper.
Canvey had a good chance to pull a goal back on 53 minutes when Mitchell Gilbey was released down the left and into the area. Gilbey’s shot was saved by Young but the ball went straight back to the midfielder to have another go. However, his follow up effort went across goal, missing the far post by a matter of inches and staying in play to be cleared.
Four minutes later a rare defensive error from the hosts presented Martin Tuohy with possession inside the area on the right who chipped a cross to the far post for strike partner George Sykes. He let fly with an acrobatic volley but didn’t make a clean connection and failed to hit the target.
The result was put beyond doubt on 62 minutes when Havant scored their third goal of the afternoon. Matt Paterson was released down the right wing and produced another fine save from Conor Gough, although he was unable to hold the striker’s powerful strike.
The loose ball was about to be cleared by Jake Pitty, but unfortunately for the substitute he slipped at the vital moment and allowed George Barker to slide home into an empty net from the edge of the box.
Canvey had the ball in the net on 71 minutes when Mitchell Gilbey was fouled on the corner of the penalty area on the right. Joey May whipped in a trademark free kick which was headed home by Steve Sheehan, but the goal was chalked off due to the assistant referee’s flag being raised for offside.
Up the other end a minute later James Hayter got the better of Steve Sheehan 30 yards from goal and spotted Conor Gough off of his line, attempting a lob which sailed a few yards over the bar and landed in amongst the home fans behind the goal.
Canvey nearly maintained their record of having scored in every match so far this season with two minutes to play when Harrison Chatting launched a superb left-footed effort from 25 yards which Ryan Young did very well to turn behind for a corner diving to his right.
Havant completed the scoring as the match ticked into the 90th minute when Canvey failed to effectively clear their lines. George Barker shot from the edge of the area towards the bottom corner which hit the base of the post, deflecting across goal for Alfie Rutherford to tuck home the rebound.
Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts