Havant Humbled

Last updated : 18 July 2007 By Jim Bonner
A record crowd at West Leigh Park witnessed Pompey beat Havant by 2 goals to 0 in the annual local friendly.

Pompey fielded a semi-strong side but the only players who I think Harry Redknapp would consider to be in his first choice XI were David James, Dejan Stefanovic, Matthew Taylor and David Nugent. The other players to start the game were Andy O'Brien, Djimi Traore, Noe Pamarot, Richard Duffy, Sean Davis, Arnold Mvuemba and Franck Songo'o.

Geovanni, the trialist who was revealed to be the ex-Barcelona and Benfica man, didn't play because he was signed by Manchester City. A new trialist by the name of Christophe would play the second half instead.

After a first half with no score, Sean Davis opened the scoring with a lob over Hawks 'keeper Kevin Scrivens who had been very impressive up until that point. Franck Songo'o added a second after he met Taylor's crossfield ball and struck the ball past Scriven.

It was David Nugent who impressed the most last night though. His determination and workrate was second to none but he was denied a goal thanks to some heroic goalkeeping, desperate defending and some poor finishing that will surely come good with match practise. Even when he went down injured he got up and walked the pain off to try and find that goal, which meant the Pompey fans took to him almost straight away.

If Nugent wasn't the most impressive last night then it was Franck Songo'o, who always seems to look good at West Leigh Park. He just needs to turn his obvious potential into ability that's good enough for the highest level of English football. The trialist known as Christophe didn't make an impression at all, however.

From the Hawks' point of view they can pleased with their performance, especially in the first half when they had a couple of good chances but come the second half the Pompey defence was largely untroubled until right at the death when Jamie Slabber put the ball over the bar from very close range.

Comedy moment of the night came from Sean Davis as he pulled James' shorts down before the match, prompting the kids in front of me to ask if he was gay to which he replied "No, that's Matty Taylor!"

All in all, it was a good run out for the team and the crowd will generate a nice amount of revenue for Havant & Waterlooville as they aim for promotion to the BlueSquare Premier League this season.

The next Pompey friendly is at Eastleigh tonight where Harry Redknapp promises to field a strong side.