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Tuesday, 26th Jan 2021

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Havant & Waterlooville FC Review

An undefeated pre-season so far and some crucial new signings have provided great optimism for the Hawks in the forthcoming new season. Some impressive signings especially upfront have bolstered an already impressive squad, including two strikers from the football league - Marvin Morgan (Plymouth Argyle) and James Hayter (Yeovil), as well as Matt Paterson who scored 26 times for Gosport last season. Thirty six year old Hayter played for Bournemouth, Doncaster Rovers and Yeovil respectively and in May 2007, Doncaster paid a club record transfer fee of £200,000 to sign him. Also from Gosport the Hawks have strengthened their defensive options with the capture of centre back Lee Molyneaux. Like Paterson, Molyneaux was a key part of their battle with Havant for a place in last seasons play offs. Josh Huggins, Perry Ryan and Ben Wright have all departed the club over the summer to make way for the new signings.

On the pitch a varying level of opposition has allowed Lee Bradbury to mix things up with his players old and new, as well as build up match fitness. So far in six friendlies new signings Adrian Clifton and Matt Paterson as well as last seasons top scorer Scott Donnelly have hit 3 goals a piece. James Hayter has also made a goalscoring start with 2 goals and youth product Jack Gayle has also found the net.

Away from home Hawks came through the first two friendlies comfortably winning 2-1 against Horndean and 2-0 versus Swindon Supermarine, the third was a high scoring 3-3 draw with Portchester.

The two home friendlies against higher level opponents Portsmouth and Eastleigh also saw positive results. Against Pompey the Hawks took the lead when Adrian Clifton rose highest to head home a Ben Swallows curling freekick. The hosts caused their more illustrious neighbours constant problems during the first half especially out wide through Swallows and Nic Ciardini. After many changes in the second half for both sides, Portsmouth who settled quickest and soon equalised through Mike Doyles deflected shot. Pompey looked more likely to grab a winner but gritty defending and some fine goalkeeping from Ryan Young allowed the Hawks to attain an impressive draw.

This was followed up a week later with a fine win against Vanarama National’s Eastleigh, with two goals from Scott Donnelly separating the teams. Donnelly’s second goal was particularly spectacular scoring from within his own half. A further 2-0 win at the Westleigh was seen against Wessex League champions Petersfield Town. This leaves the Hawks with games against Ryman Premier League Bognor Regis (29/07) and Conference National Dover Athletic (01/08) before starting their Vanarama National League South campaign away against Bishops Stortford.

Simon Payne
Posted on Mon, August 17 2015