In-form Havering men get better of Blueharts hosts to raise hopes of top-four spot
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Havering’s men made it four East League Premier B wins in a row with a 3-2 triumph at fourth-placed Blueharts.
But success came at a cost as influential midfielder Connor Poulain suffered a dislocated knee and torn meniscus, ending his season.
They fell behind almost immediately as Blueharts attacked on the right and an unmarked player fired past Lee Bennett from the top of the D.
But the hosts failed to convert a string of penalty corners and Havering switched to a back three when Paul Dover went off with a calf injury.
The move worked as Jack Barlow found Verinder Channa on the left and his through ball sent Liam Appleyard into the D where a deflected shot levelled matters.
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Havering continued to attack and won a penalty corner, which Poulain flicked past the keeper to put them ahead, and it was 3-1 when another Poulain corner deflected off a defender and rolled into the bottom corner.
The visitors went close to a fourth when Appleyard crossed fro Chris Dunn, who deflected the ball off the post, but were pinned back by Blueharts after the restart.
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Dogged defending kept the hosts at bay, with Bennett making some fine saves, until the last minute when Blueharts grabbed a second from the penalty spot.
But Havering held on for another impressive win which leaves them two points behind Blueharts, with a game in hand, as Shefford & Sandy visit Campion on Saturday (1pm).
The seconds took a big step towards safety with a 6-2 win over Waltham Forest, which saw them leapfrog their rivals.
They began well and opened the scoring through veteran Michael Hinton's reverse-stick finish, with Matt Kennedy tapping in a second from close range.
Andy Meehan made it 3-0 just before the break and, after Forest rallied at the start of the second half, Mike Jolly swept home Kennedy's cross for a fourth Havering goal.
Forest replied and only a superb double save from Nik Males denied them another, before Hadyn Joslin's powerful reverse stick strike made it 5-1.
Slack defending allowed Forest a second, but Joslin scored a carbon-copy goal to complete the scoring, with Havering needing just a point from their last three games to ensure survival.
Captain Ryan Lee sahred the man of the match award with stalwart Jolly.