Havant & Waterlooville vs Taunton Town


Date Time League Season Match Day Full Time
December 16, 2023 3:00 pm National League South 2023/24 16/12/2023 90'


Havant & Waterlooville3
Taunton Town0



The Peacocks capitulated to a conclusive defeat against the National League South bottom markers who in turn made it three wins on the bounce. It is hard to remember a more disheartening afternoon in recent seasons, with such a deficient performance coming against the backdrop of more important off-field issues which need to be resolved.

The Taunton side showed one change from that which had dismantled Farnborough seven days earlier, with Nat Jarvis returning from suspension to replace Nick McCootie. My word, what a difference a week makes. As clinical and efficient as Town had been against Farnborough, they were as sloppy and lacklustre in equal measure against another Hampshire side who had escaped with a point in the earlier meeting between the sides at the Somerset Campervan Co Stadium thanks to a late missed penalty. The Hawks were on the front foot from the off and the Peacocks had no real answer. Harry Jewitt-White and Devante Stanley had already drilled strikes narrowly wide for Havant before they took the lead after six minutes. Another Jewitt-White shot was deflected for a corner from which Joe McNerney flicked a header against the post and fellow centre half Ben Morgan reacted to prod into the net.

This early setback failed to muster a meaningful response from the visitors as they struggled to create a chance of note. Dylan Morgan got a faint touch on a Jarvis cross, with Hawks’ keeper Ross Worner claiming ahead of Ross Stearn while Austen Booth’s header from a Lloyd James free kick was going wide anyway although Worner made sure by clutching it. The purposeful football was coming from the home side and after Ryan Seager had turned onto a Phillips’ centre to see his effort held by Town shotstopper Dan Lavercombe, Havant missed a fine opportunity to double their lead on the quarter hour when Jake McCarthy’s drive deflected to Phillips who had plenty to aim at but fired wide of the target from 10 yards.

The remainder of the half saw more of the same, with Havant dominant going forward. Lavercombe pulled off a fine stop to turn wide a strike from James Roberts before a Roberts’ cross found McCarthy free, but he could only direct his header straight at the keeper. The Peacocks eventually won their first corner of the game on 41 minutes which resulted in an upward headed clearance falling for Morgan who aimed a header at goal but without enough power to beat Worner who caught comfortably. Stearn’s free kick deflected off the wall to land on the roof of the net, the last vestiges of action from a half in which Town had been distinctly second best.

There was to be no festive cheer for the travelling support after the break either. The Hawks carried on from where they had left off, Roberts seeing two shots blocked while Stearn suffered the same fate at the other end after Morgan had gotten in the way of his strike. Town’s hopes plummeted akin to Santa falling down the chimney when the hosts broke away to add a second goal on the hour, Devante Stanley finding acres of room down the right to play in Phillips and his attempted cross to locate Seager was diverted into his own net by Nick Grimes. Town’s continued inclination to launch long balls forward was being mopped up by twin centre halves McNerney and Morgan so in an effort to change fortunes, Cameron Evans and Malachi Linton replaced Stearn and Jarvis with 25 to go.

Worner at last was forced into extending himself when he got a touch to turn Morgan’s shot wide and with McCootie coming on for James with just over ten minutes remaining were there still some sprinklings of hope? Zac Smith found space to switch feet and test Worner from the edge of the box as he palmed away at the expense of a corner but the underlying malaise of this match was never far away from rearing its head and after Lavercombe had done brilliantly to deny Seager from close range following a Roberts cross, the three points were rubberstamped for the hosts five minutes from time. Whether it was sensational skill from Havant left back Kai Innocent or a Christmas gift from the Peacocks’ backline is open to debate but whatever it was game over as the Hawks’ player embarked on a run from midfield and danced past numerous yellow shirts to reach the box where he planted his finish beyond Lavercombe. The referee made Town fans endure five further minutes of added time before the relief of the final whistle. No further comment on a day to forget.


Taunton: Dan Lavercombe, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Austen Booth, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James (Nick McCootie 75), Nat Jarvis (Malachi Linton 65), Joe Guest, Ross Stearn (Cameron Evans 65), Zac Smith, Dylan Morgan. Unused subs: Lee Lucas, Lloyd Irish

Havant & Waterlooville: Ross Worner, Devante Stanley, Kai Innocent, Joe McNerney, Ben Morgan, Jake McCarthy (captain), Kieran Phillips (Sion Spence 85), Ryan Seagar (Jafer Mohammed-Kier 90+2), Harry Jewitt-White, Roarie Deacon (Jack Jebb 72), James Roberts. Unused subs: Yoan Zouma, Leon Baker


Referee: Phillip Eddie (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Colin Hubbard (Wimborne)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Derrick Laing (Lightwater)




” We had too many of our usual sevens and eights who were fours and fives today……” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE


Match highlights courtesy of Havant & Waterlooville FC can be seen HERE


Match photos from Club Photographers Darren Harris can be viewed HERE and Debbie Gould HERE

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance MOM

Dylan Morgan receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from Social Media Manager Max Fournier