Tottonians failed to make numbers count when they came up against Hampshire rivals Havant.

The hosts were handed a huge advantage in the early stages of the London 1 South clash at Water Lane when Havant hooker Jerome Trail was sent off.

Tottonians made the Portsmouth-based side pay immediately and racked up 19 points in as many minutes.

That was followed by an extraordinary comeback from a determined Havant outfit who deserved their 28-19 victory – playing for 70 minutes with 14 players.

Spectators from both sides were left wondering why Number 2 Trail was shown a red card, but Somerset referee Chris Houdley later revealed he had no choice other than to produce it for ‘hands in the face’ in an off-the-ball incident.

Trail had been on the sidelines for a few seconds when Totts pushed over from a penalty scrum with Ieuan Williams touching down.

Oli Northover then turned over in the middle of the field and fed fly half Robbie Searle who raced under the posts and converted.

Mike Searle then followed up his cousin’s score by dummying and placing under the posts as Totts moved to 19-0.

Havant's recovery started when they kicked a penalty after their first real visit into Totts’ territory, and from that point the game dramatically changed.

Player numbers were evened up as former Havant clubman Alistair Ramus was yellow carded for Tottonians. Almost immediately Havant’s winger Ben Tagitiamua scored his first try for his club as he raced down the line.

The visitors were only three points adrift when they touched down on the opposite flank through Harry Carr minutes later.

Havant picked up where they left off in the second half as they bossed their way over the line through Number 8 Rob Cuffe and converted.

Tottonains had long periods of possession but a combination of knock-ons, missed passes and some defiant defending from their opponents cancelled out all the efforts.

Havant brought up their try bonus point with a break from Joe Davis to lead 28-19, which they held on to until the final whistle – despite Totts coming within inches of going over numerous times in the final ten minutes.

Totts’ backs coach, Pierre Alex Clarke, said: “We are disappointed.

“We were 19-0 up in 20 minutes and we thought we were going to run away with it.

“But teams like Havant have a lot of spirit and this league is not as easy as we may think.”