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Downes delivers a late point as Havering seconds share spoils with Waltham Forest

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 November 2019

Havering celebrate their second goal during Havering HC 2nd XI vs Chelmsford HC 3rd XI, East Region League Field Hockey at Campion School on 2nd November 2019

Havering celebrate their second goal during Havering HC 2nd XI vs Chelmsford HC 3rd XI, East Region League Field Hockey at Campion School on 2nd November 2019

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A late goal from Jack Downes earned Havering men's seconds a draw with fellow strugglers Waltham Forest in East League Division Four.

The game began well for Havering as Roger Hiett fired home from an early short corner to give them the lead.

But they failed to capitalise and the home side hit back when a cross from the left was deflected past veteran keeper Nik Males.

Forest took the lead soon after the break from a powerful reverse stick shot and Havering failed to find any fluency in their play as they pushed for a equaliser.

Mike Hinton came close, but his reverse stick effort was well saved by the Forest keeper, while Males stood firm whenever called upon to prevent the hosts extending their lead.

Eventually, good work from Zak Nerukar on the left set up Downes to finish from close range to give Havering a valuable point.

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The third team took on East London sevenths in Division Six and lined up in a standard 4-4-2 formation, with the experienced Perm Ghia supported by the energetic Billy Wilson, flanked by Jon Harris and Luke Clarke.

The midfield showed great determination throughout the game and were more present than in the previous weekend's match as Barry Marler made good efforts in slowing down East London's play, intercepting cleanly.

Kulveer eased into the role of right midfield with more confidence and made several daring runs, developing his ability to pass once he had beaten his man. And Liam Purton put in a strong shift too, squaring from the right for Jon Wigham to calmly slot past the keeper.

The roles were reversed later in the game with Wigham setting a ball across the D at a short corner for Purton to slot in from an incredibly tight angle.

But Havering struggled at the back at times as East London worked well to overload the midfield and cause problems.

East London seemed to take their feet off the pedal in the second half, giving Havering some much needed time to recuperate and they netted again as a quick free hit made its way to Bill Birbeck just outside the D.

Birbeck's well-struck shot proved painful for the East London keeper and Steve Ashlin pounced to net the rebound.

It proved decisive as Havering claimed a 3-2 win to leapfrog their rivals into seventh place.

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