THE Shots faithful will hope that the third Hampshire Cup success in four years will prove the catalyst for a title challenge next season.
Victory at St.Mary's was a perfect end to an otherwise traumatic campaign and perhaps heralds the beginning of a new successful era for the Shots.
Manager Terry Brown has only been in the job a couple of months but with a trophy now safely locked away in the cabinet he is already looking forward to next season.
"It was a fantastic way to end the season. A win in our last league game put us in third position and then the win tonight is a great ending. It will do the season ticket sales no harm and we all look forward now to next season. I'm chuffed for all the boys they've worked hard and deserved their success."
At half time success looked a distant prospect but three second half strikes marked a dramatic turnaround.
"At half time we were obviously disappointed because we had played reasonably well without looking like scoring goals," said Brown.
The strikers, however, came to prominence in the second half with Payne proving a constant thorn in Havant's side, while Browne added the cutting edge with his finishing.
"I thought Grant Payne and Stafford would cause them problems in the second half and it proved so," said Brown.
"We needed to take a few more gambles, push forward more and get the full backs further forward.
"I thought Proths and Chewy were more dangerous in the second half, we got more crosses in. We got the ball into Payney who caused them all sorts of problems and then typical Staff, I hadn't seen him up to his first goal.
"Everyone on the bench was saying he gets them in braces, twos and threes and sure enough what a place to do it, at St.Mary's in front of our own supporters and getting a hat-trick."