Harrogate Town returned to a packed CNG stadium for their second home game of September having become league leaders and still undefeated after scoring a late winner in the midweek tie away to Gateshead.
The two newly promoted teams faced off on what was a very rainy affair from the start.
Goals from Callum Howe, Jack Muldoon and Dom Knowles meant that Simon Weaver's men continued their unbeaten run and stayed top of the league despite a strong contest from Havant and Waterlooville and there two goal marksmen Nicke Kabamba.
It was The Hawks who looked threatening in the very early stages, Josh Huggins and Andreas Robinson ran at the Town defence to test them, looking confident after their second win of the season last week.
Their early pressure paid off as the Hawks opened the scoring in the sixth minute through Kabamba.
The striker was given too much time and space by the Town defence to control the ball and then allowed go on a short run into the box before slotting it in the bottom left corner.
Despite the shock start for Town, Howe at the back continued to urge to his team forward and six minutes after the opening goal, Howe rose highest to get on the end of a Joe Leesley corner from just five yards out.
The equaliser sprung both the CNG faithful and Simon Weaver's men into life, Warren Burrell was looking a real threat with his searching crosses into the box.
That didn’t stop Havant looking dangerous either, Aaron Cosgrave managed to get the better of Liam Kitching and behind the Town defence then to the byline, but the Town defence recovered well.
In the 29th minute Town nearly grabbed there second goal of the afternoon. Lloyd Kerry took the ball well and floated in a lovely weighted cross to Muldoon, who hit it on the volley but unfortunately couldn’t find the inside of the post.
Havant and Waterlooville could have very well gone ahead themselves in the 36th minute. Kabamba again looking like a real nuisance for the Town defence, he picked up a loose Town pass but dragged his shot wide after a good run at goal.
The first big chance of the second half fell to Dom Knowles, after some good link up play with Muldoon, Knowles attempted a lovely curling effort from just outside of the box but unfortunately couldn’t find the underside of the bar.
It didn’t take too long after that effort for the lively Knowles to find the back of the goal. In the 52nd minute he secured his fifth goal of the season. The Havant defence failed to deal with a George Thomson corner and after a goalmouth scramble Knowles managed to poke it home. A real poachers finish.
Shortly afterwards Town added a third, in the 57th minute Jack Muldoon also grabbed his fifth goal of the season. Knowles was involved yet again as he got away from his man before cutting back to Muldoon who just had to tap in.
The Hawks will have been disappointed to concede two relatively quick-fire goals having matched the league leaders for the majority of the first half.
They weren’t feeling sorry for them themselves just yet though, in the 63rd minute after a mix up between the Town defence the impressive Kabamaba pounced onto the loose ball and managed to guide it over the Town stopper Belshaw.
After the fifth goal the game tempo went a bit flat for both sides, Town were still trying to move the ball forward but struggled to string another big opportunity together in what had become quite a tense affair for the crowd since the fifth goal.
In the final 10 minutes Havant were the livelier side, raining lots of crosses and pressure onto the Town defence but the league leaders had all the answers and managed to hold on to stay top of the Vanarama National League and remain undefeated.
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Burrell, Howe, Langmead, Kitching, Agnew (Sutton 84), Kerry, Thomson, Leesley, Muldoon (Williams 82), Knowles (Beck 70)
Subs not used: Cracknall, Parker
Goals: Howe 12, Knowles 52, Muldoon 57
Booked: Leelsey, Kerry
Havant and Waterlooville: Young, Strugnell (Sekajji 64), Williams, Woodford, Harris, Lewis, Kabamba, Cosgrave (Pavey 75), Huggins, A.Robinson (Simpson 64), P.Robinson
Subs not used: Tarbuck, Rutherford
Goals: Kabamba 6, 63
Referee: M Woods
Report by Isaac Martin