Hawks beat Champions Eastleigh to go within two points of confirming a playoff place
Mon Apr 21 2014, 19:53
932 watched as the Hawks beat League Champions Eastleigh 1-0 in today’s Bank Holiday derby at Westleigh Park, putting the side in the driving seat for the play-offs in the process.
Nic Ciardini’s tenth minute goal proved enough to divide the sides, scored direct from a free kick after Sahr Kabba was fouled just outside the box.
Defeats for Concord and Ebbsfleet this afternoon, and a draw for Dover, mean the Hawks now need just two points from their last two games this season to secure a playoff place.
The Hawks’ penultimate game, and last home match of the season, is on Wednesday night against relegation threatened Maidenhead United, who this afternoon recorded an eye opening win against Ebbsfleet United to boost their bid for survival. The Hawks then finish the season next Saturday away at Tonbridge Angels, who were emphatically relegated in a 7-1 hammering by Chelmsford City today.
Shepherd's Crook is pre-match pub for Senior Cup Final
Mon Apr 21 2014, 19:01
Hawks fans are invited to gather at the Shepherd’s Crook pub in Fratton before May 12th’s Senior Cup final against Basingstoke. Organised by Hawks regular Ade Oakley, the pub is on the junction of Winter Road and Goldsmith Avenue, two minutes from Fratton Park.
Seven points to go
Sun Apr 20 2014, 10:46
The Hawks’ 1-1 draw with Weston-super-Mare on Friday night means the side go into tomorrow’s Bank Holiday clash with local rivals Eastleigh knowing that to remain certain of a play-off place they must claim at least a draw. The Spitfires’ 2-1 victory against Basingstoke yesterday saw them win the league outright, making them the first ever Hampshire side to be crowned Conference South champions.
It was Nigel Atangana who put the Hawks ahead at Weston after he intercepted a poorly hit cross field pass in the 16th minute and tricked his way past Jamie Laird.
Despite controlling much of the game however, the visitors were caught out five minutes from time when Dayle Grubb’s low drive into the box was flicked up past Hawks’ keeper Benji Buchel by Weston defender Callum Laird.
As yesterday’s clash between fellow play-off contenders Concord and Dover ended in a 2-1 win for the Whites, the Hawks equal Dover on 65 points and drop to 6th place in the league on goal difference. These two sides now look most likely to contest the fifth playoff spot, with Dover facing games against Whitehawk (H) and Hayes & Yeading (A) in the coming week, while the Hawks take on Eastleigh (H), Maidenhead (H) and Tonbridge (A).
Tired Hawks held to a draw
Thu Apr 17 2014, 10:16
The tired Hawks recorded a creditable 1-1 draw with Boreham Wood at Westleigh Park last night in what was their third outing in five days. The point keeps them in fifth place in the table, two above sixth placed Dover with a game still in hand. The side now know that three wins from their last four games will guarantee them a top five finish, with six sides currently still in the running for the last two play-off spots.
It was defender Daniel Blanchett who put the Hawks ahead in front of an impressive home crowd of 562, asked to shell out for their fourth home game in the space of 12 days. His 21st minute edge of the box strike in the wake of a corner put the hosts on course for a fourth consecutive home win, but the tenacious 13th placed visitors struck back eight minutes from the break when Ricky Shakes diverted a low cross past Hawks' keeper Benji Buchel.
The Hawks again have little time to recover before their next match tomorrow evening; a tricky away fixture at 11th placed Weston-super-Mare, who have won six of their eight home games so far this calendar year.
Thrills continue as Hawks move into final five games
Wed Apr 16 2014, 19:11
The thrilling conclusion to the Hawks' season continues tonight as the side take on Boreham Wood at Westleigh Park. A win would put the side into fourth place in the league after a floodlight failure at Concord Rangers last night denied Ebbsfleet United a likely victory. Moreover, only three teams would be able to nudge Lee Bradbury's men out of the top five positions with just over week of the league left to go. It will again be a busy one for the Hawks with five games still to play in the last eleven days of the season.
But the side are well versed now in playing high frequency games, with 18 already played in the last month and a half.
On Saturday a 79th minute penalty fired home by Nic Ciardini was enough to beat Concord Rangers, one of the few teams who can still displace the Hawks from the playoffs, and on Monday night an action packed opening saw the Hawks two goals to the good against visitors Bishop's Stortford with just ten minutes on the clock when Christian Nanetti scored two minutes after Scott Donnelly's penalty spot opener. That opening barrage was enough to see off the Essex side without further incident.
Such is the close knit nature of the top eight sides that the Hawks may yet need to win four of their remaining five matches to ensure a play-off berth, but an interesting match between fellow contenders Concord and Dover may shake things up further when they clash at the weekend.