DORCHESTER TOWN 0
HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE 2
A SCOTT Jones brace saw FA Trophy semi-finalists Havant & Waterlooville end the Magpies’ hopes of back-to-back Skrill South wins at the Avenue tonight.
The Hawks extended their unbeaten run to 13 in all competitions as Jones struck either side of the break before going off injured.
Dorchester went close through Sam Lanahan and Nathan Walker late on but it was another frustrating evening for Phil Simkin’s men, who also missed the chance to climb off the bottom of the table.
Simkin had the rare luxury of being able to name the same starting line-up and bench for the second game in succession following Saturday’s win at Eastbourne.
In contrast, Havant manager Lee Bradbury, probably with this weekend’s FA Trophy semi-final first-leg against Gosport in mind, made six changes to the side that began the victory over Aldershot in the quarters last time out.
Those changes in the visitors’ ranks could have been the reason for their rather shaky defending at set-pieces in the opening few minutes.
Nick Crittenden’s corner found an unmarked Walker eight yards out but the defender, playing at the Avenue for the first time since joining on loan from Weymouth last month, couldn’t make the most of the space he was given.
A Dorchester free-kick then caused panic in the Havant box before the visitors almost took the lead after Jamie Gleeson gave the ball away in his own half.
Striker Dennis Oli pulled the ball back from out on the right, Alan Walker-Harris dealt with the initial danger, and Ryan Case was well-placed to head an Alec Przespolewski effort off the line.
Walker-Harris was in action again moments later, parrying a fierce Scott Donnelly drive as Havant began to look dangerous.
The Dorchester keeper was picking the ball out of his net 23 minutes in after Jones had given Havant the lead. Nic Ciardini’s left-footed shot deflected off Jake Smeeton and Jones dived in bravely at the far post to head home from close range.
Trying to get back into the game, the Magpies struggled to test Charlie Searle in the Havant goal and even when Charlie Losasso tried his luck from 25 yards six minutes before the break, the visiting keeper still wasn’t made to work.
However, despite Jones’ header, the visitors didn’t create many clear cut opportunities themselves, though they did hold the lead going into the second half.
That lead was doubled just two minutes after the interval and it was Jones who struck again.
Donnelly floated a free-kick from near the corner flag to the far post and Jones didn’t have to do much to stab the ball home – the hosts’ defending wouldn’t have pleased their manager.
Jones may well have completed his hat-trick on 51 minutes but after taking a touch to control a cross his shot looped up and hit the top of the crossbar.
That was to be Jones’ last involvement in the game as an injury forced him off a few minutes later, just after Clive Makoni had replaced Jack Twyford for the home side.
The speedy Makoni nearly made an impact only for the ball to run away from him having been found by Case.
At the other end, Przespolewski almost put the game to bed but was denied at point-blank range by Walker-Harris after a great run and pass by substitute Christian Nanetti.
Despite trailing 2-0, the Magpies still looked like they could pull a goal back as the game entered the last 20 minutes.
The presence of Makoni was working but when Searle rushed out of his goal to deal with a through ball intended for the former Bournemouth man, Lanahan fired wide. Walker then saw a header from a corner tipped over by Searle.
Dorchester’s night nearly got worse eight minutes from the end. Through on goal, Oli was brought down by the on-rushing Walker-Harris, though luckily for him he received just a yellow card.
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Case, Smeeton, Jermyn, N Walker, Lanahan (Munday 79), Twyford (Makoni 52), Gleeson, Crittenden, Byerley, Losasso. Subs not used: Ward, Way, Brooks.
Havant: Searle, Strugnell, Cummings, Donnelly (Hutchinson 84), Woodford, Harris, Ciardini, Atangana (Ryan 68), Oli, Jones (Nanetti 54), Przespolewski. Subs not used: Newton, Blanchett.
Bookings: Magpies – Walker-Harris (foul 82) Havant – Oli (dissent 70), Hutchinson (dissent 90+2) Referee: David Woolford (Andover) Attendance: 208