Roberts at the double to earn a point

Natasha Roberts bagged a brace to earn a point
Natasha Roberts bagged a brace to earn a point

Natasha Roberts struck twice as Banbury fought back to earn a valuable South Clubs Women’s Hockey League point against Havant.

Banbury trailed 2-0 in Saturday’s division two fixture at NOA but Roberts bagged a brace to earn a 2-2 draw for the strugglers.

Banbury fell behind when Havant broke early for Alice Worsley to open the scoring. Havant soon doubled their advantage through Izzy Parry despite a great save from Emma Henriksen.

Player-manager Sadie Lapper got Banbury switched on and they put Havant under pressure. Great runs from Molly Levene, Emily Dove, Georgia Verdon, Vicky Warlow and Jenny Marsh put Havant on the back foot.

Taking time to work around the Havant defence, Roberts went around the keeper to reduce the arrears. Boosted by the goal, Banbury put Havant under continued pressure which finally resulted in an equaliser for Roberts. Heavy tackling in the midfield from Lapper and Warlow resulted in a green card for the latter.

After the restart, strong defending from Charlie Price, Warlow, Sophie Hills and Alice Offord kept Havant at bay.

End-to-end play resulted in a green card for Havant’s central defender.

Sensing the opportunity, Banbury pushed forward winning a short corner, which was stopped on the line by a defender. Roberts stepped up for the penalty-flick but hit the inside of the post.

Havant put the pressure on in the last five minutes, earning a short corner but strong defending from Becca Edwards, Price and Henriksen kept the visitors out.

Banbury will be looking to build on the draw when they travel to Woking on Saturday. But they remain near the relegation zone.