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Havant & Waterlooville Preview

Now nine games into the National League season, undefeated Harrogate Town are now the league leaders in what has been a dream start for Simon Weaver’s men.

A first goal of the season from summer signing Aaron Williams five minutes from time lifted Town to the top of the league on goal difference, level on points with the only other undefeated team in the league, Leyton Orient.

The new league leaders face Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday in the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides.

Formed in 1998, The Hawks play their football at West Leigh Park in Hampshire and, like Harrogate, are one of four newly promoted sides into the National League.

Havant secured their place in The National League by fending off a challenge from Dartford to land the National League South title last season.

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It was sealed in exciting fashion too as an 87th minute goal on the final day of the season against Concord Rangers secured the title on goal difference.

That was the second promotion in a row at West Leigh Park, having been promoted from the Isthmian League the season before.

Saturday’s opponents are managed by Lee Bradbury who made more than 500 appearances in the Football League.

After retiring as a player, he spent 14 months as manager of AFC Bournemouth and then went on to be a youth coach at Portsmouth before taking charge of HWFC in 2012.

This season for Bradbury’s side will likely be one of consolidation, with the Hampshire side having only picked up one win in the first nine games, leaving them in 21st place ahead of Wednesday night’s televised fixture.

Striker Nicke Kabamba has proved a handful for opposition defences this season, having grabbed himself two goals already and is widely regarded as the danger man.

Weaver could potentially have a positive goal scoring selection problem on his hands for the game against Havant and Waterlooville with fellow summer signing Jack Muldoon also finding the back of the net on Tyneside, his fourth goal of the season.

That was after Dom Knowles had opened the scoring at the Gateshead International Stadium with what was also his fourth goal of the season.

The return of Mark Beck from injury and to goalscoring form will be another big plus with the striker scoring two since his return leaving plenty of inform striking options to give Weaver plenty of food for thought.

Preview by Isaac Martin