08 November 2020

Paul Doswell believes Havant were fortunate to advance in FA Cup

08 November 2020

Havant and Waterlooville manager Paul Doswell felt his team were lucky to move into the hat for the second round of the FA Cup after scraping a 1-0 win over Cray Valley Paper Mills.

But after advancing Doswell crossed his fingers for a clash with League One neighbours Portsmouth despite any potential tie being behind closed doors.

Midfielder Bedsente Gomis scored the only goal as Havant reached the second round for only the second time in their 22-year history.

The National League South club made hard work of defeating a side two divisions below them courtesy of Gomis’ first-half strike.

Gomis, part of Doswell’s Sutton United side which made it to the fifth round in 2017, headed in a cross from left-back George McClellan after 18 minutes.

Havant had to play the last half hour with only 10 men after midfielder Godfrey Poku – making his first start of the season – was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Doswell said: “I felt the better team on the day lost.

“We got away with one today, we were a bit ill-disciplined at times, but don’t forget these are never easy games.

“If we didn’t win the players would have been criticised, and if we did win then nobody would really notice.

“I’m very relieved. Going down to 10 men gave us a mountain to climb, but credit to the 10 players, they didn’t allow Ross Worner to make a single save.

“If Cray had possessed a bit more quality, then I think Ross would have had to make saves.

“We restricted them to few chances, and created a couple ourselves, so we have to be OK with that.

“It would be brilliant for the area to draw Portsmouth at home. Other than that, I’d love a big League One club at home or someone from our level, or even lower, at home.”

Cray Valley boss Kevin Watson is convinced his players will benefit from their FA Cup experience.

It could have been a different story if midfielder Matthew Warren’s 20-yard shot had crept inside the post late on instead of rebounding off it.

Watson said: “I wouldn’t say we were the better team, but I feel disappointed not to have won.

“We worked hard, but we just needed a bit more quality.

“Was it a penalty at the end? I thought it was, but the referee didn’t think so and his opinion is more important than mine.

“This cup run has been a great experience for the players.”

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