A HARD-FOUGHT 2-0 win at home over Havant thirds gave Salisbury Hockey Club Men's firsts a boost in Hampshire One in their bid for promotion.

Goals from Henry Smith and top scorer Tom Morton ensured the Lower Bemerton outfit cemented third spot.

They are level on points with Weymouth but five behind pacesetters Gillingham, who they face on Saturday.

With the return of some key defenders, Salisbury looked the better side in the early exchanges but failed to capitalise on some excellent openings.

Firstly, Martin Clarke was played in after a slick attack, but the centre-forward sent his shot high and wide of the Havant goal.

Then, Morton found himself with only the keeper to beat and sent his effort narrowly wide of the left hand post.

In reply, Havant were limited to a couple of penalty corners.

Salisbury found the breakthrough in the second half after a sweet strike from Smith nestled into the net.

Their lead was doubled with another breakaway goal. Clarke picked up a Salisbury clearance on the halfway line before wonderfully picking out Morton, who rounded the goalkeeper and tapped in to close curtains on Havant.

Captain Andy Renshaw said: "Havant are always a dangerous side so we were delighted with the clean sheet.

"We know we can score goals against any team, so if we can defend like we did on Saturday, I'm confident we can get another result this weekend."

The following weekend (December 10) sees Salisbury host City of Portsmouth before they have a four-week break for Christmas.