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.
Hawks stumble into fifth with impressive 1-0 win against Bromley
Sun Apr 6 2014, 15:18
The Hawks skirted into the play-off bracket yesterday with a slender 1-0 win over high flyers Bromley at Westleigh Park. A last minute penalty for Bishop’s Stortford against Dover meant the Hawks replaced the Whites in the all important fifth place.
The Hawks’ goal came just before half time when Bournemouth loan signing Aristide Bassele sidestepped the Bromley defence to fire home from the edge of the box, but the hosts had a lucky let off in the dying minutes of the game when Bromley substitute Louis Dennis’s header hit both the post and the underside of the cross bar before keeper Benji Buchel claimed the ball.
The win was a much needed shot in the arm for the Hawks after the side had staggered through their fifth consecutive three-game-a-week schedule. Draws away at struggling Chelmsford and Staines Town, followed by a 3-1 defeat at second placed Sutton United on Thursday, left the Hawks still hovering on the edge of the top five with a quickly diminishing backlog of games.
The Hawks can now look forward to the relatively sedate pace of two games a week for the remaining seven matches, with the first being a home match against 18th placed Maidenhead United tomorrow night.
One point from the playoffs as Whitehawk are next to fall
Thu Mar 27 2014, 22:43
The Hawks top the pack chasing the all-important fifth spot in the league tonight as they rise to sixth after beating Whitehawk 2-0 at Westleigh Park. After an even first half Christian Nanetti was the first to score in the 52nd minute when he made the most of Nigel Atangana’s header from a cross by Nic Ciardini.
Scott Donnelly then put the Hawks two ahead in a second half that saw the hosts more in control when he rifled a weakly cleared corner under the bar from the edge of the box in the 74th minute.
The win brings the Hawks to the end of a fourth consecutive week playing three games in each, with a tough fifth containing three away games to come before the schedule drops to two a week for the remainder of the season.