Crusaders with back to back home losses
A single Jason Prior goal was enough
We produced another spirited performance, but high-flying Havant had the better chances and finally notched the goal which condemned us to second successive 1-0 defeat, and we have some daunting fixtures ahead which will test us all if we are to climb away from the lower reaches of the league table.
The spirit in the club is good, however and everything is possible with the right effort and support.
Heavy rain in the morning led to a slippery pitch, but, although dark clouds overhead threatened more rain, they drifted away and by half-time the sun was shining and the early switch-on of the floodlights proved unnecessary.
There were few chances to either side in a rather dull first half, but we had a set-back when James Rusby soon went off and was replaced by Luke Hopper.
Anton Rodger made a promising debut, taking
most our free-kicks and corners, but no one was able to get on the end of the teasing crosses. There was an appeal for a penalty when Hopper was brought down, but the best we got was a corner which was cleared by the Havant defence.
Lewis Ward dealt confidently with everything which came into his area and Gareth Thomas sent a glancing header wide of the Havant goal. There was a strange incident just before the interval when Havant skipper Ryan Woodford was booked, but the free-kick went to the visitors.
Although we had the advantage of the slope after the interval, it was the visitors who stepped up the pressure and Ward was kept busy.
Both sides made changes and we were close when Alex Wall just failed to reach a cross/shot from James Clark.
We had to defend well to keep out some determined Havant attacks, but just as it looked that we had survived the pressure, Jason Prior charged down a clearance from Thomas and fired the ball back past Ward and although there were still over 20 minutes left ,we seldom looked like getting back into the game.
Although we have only conceded two goals in the last four games, we have drifted down to 17th. place and have a hard task ahead if we are to climb to safety, starting with Wealdstone next Saturday, followed by a visit from one-time leaders Truro City the following week.
Team; Lewis Ward, Rhys Tyler, Paul Stonehouse, Ian Herring, Gareth Thomas, James Rusby(Luke Hopper),James Clark, Richie Whittingham(Alex Wall),Anton Rodgers, Nicholas Bignall, Louie Soares.
Subs;Tinashe Gwavava, Stefan Brown,Marcus Beauchamp.