Luck deserts City as they suffer undeserved Hawks reversal

City were left wondering how they ended up empty-handed in an eventful 2-1 defeat to Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park this afternoon. Despite missing Sam Pearson and Dan Bowry – both away on international duty – plus previously ever-present Alex Hartridge, after he was recalled by Exeter City, and the very difficult playing surface, the Romans controlled the opening hour before Havant’s direct style and two controversial refereeing decisions turned the result in their favour. City should have gone ahead on ten minutes when Andy Watkins was tripped in the box by Robson but Noah Chilvers saw his spot-kick saved by Worner. However, they only had to wait another four minutes for Adam Mann to head home Tom Smith’s superb cross. City continued to pass the ball around well despite the pitch, which looked to have barely recovered from last week’s abandoned match against Slough Town, but couldn’t add to their lead before the interval. Within a minute of the restart they were desperately unlucky not to make it 2-0 when Watkins’ curling shot hit the inside of the post only to somehow stay the wrong side of the goalline. And on 57 minutes the home side undeservedly levelled when a long ball forward with Rutherford in an offside position found Ayunga and, although he was denied a shot, Rutherford took advantage of the linesman mistake to sweep home the loose ball. And City’s sense of injustice deepened on 71 minutes when Chilvers appeared to cleanly win a tackle on Taylor only for the referee to award another penalty. Kedwell made no mistake, firing the ball into the roof of the net. City tried to find a way back into the game but in throwing men forward should have conceded a third when Kedwell somehow sliced the ball wide of an open goal in the closing minutes.