By Mat Killeen
Havant & Waterlooville 4 Canvey Island 0
Havant and Waterlooville maintained their unbeaten home record this season following a 4-0 victory over Canvey Island in the Ryman Premier Division.
The game began in driving rain but this was not enough to dampen the early Hawks fire as they had the better of the early chances. However, the trouble inflicted on the Canvey Island goal was at a minimum.
The deadlock was broken by the home side after 10 minutes. Patterson and Hayter combining well as the former crossed for the latter to guide the ball past Conor Gough in the visitor’s goal.
The Hawks continued their first half dominance thanks in no small part to winger, Ben Swallow, who continued to cause problems as he patrolled the right hand side of the field.
Were it not for Gough in the Gulls’ goal, Lee Bradbury’s men would have been further in front. Seven minutes before the break however, this is exactly what happened. Swallow with yet another good cross picking out Theo Lewis who shot past the visitor’s keeper to double the home side’s lead.
After half-time, the rain may have relented but Havant and Waterlooville refused to as they continued the pressure in Gough in the away goal. Canvey Island returned the favour however, as veteran gloveman, Ryan Young, was forced into a couple of good saves at the other end.
After wasting a good chance moments earlier, George Barker got his first goal for the season after 62 minutes. The former Gosport wide-man turned home the rebound after ex-Borough team mate, Matt Patterson’s shot was pushed back into danger by under-fire Canvey Island goalkeeper, Connor Gough.
The visitors thought they had reduced their arrears after a header following a free kick just outside the Hawks penalty area. However, it was ruled out for off-side.
The scoring was complete as second half substitute, Alfie Rutherford, drove the ball home after a shot from George Barker in search of his second of the game rattled the post.
Following the game, the Hawks’ Manager praised his side’s performance saying: “I was pleased with the overall performance. We dealt with their physicality and energy, while also giving them problems going the other way with our movement off the ball. I felt there were a couple of areas we could hurt them and we got opportunities off the back of that.”
Bradbury also noted the strength in depth of his squad this year saying it was ‘a good headache for me to have’.
The win ensures the Hawks keep their 100% record at home in the league this season. It also means they are just a point of the top behind Leiston and Tonbridge Angels in the Ryman Premier League.