Last minute disappointment as Dover sneak fifth spot

Thu May 1, 2014 : 16:57

Despite a phenomenal run through the spring, the Hawks missed out on a playoff place in their last match of the season by a single goal. Whether it had come for Hayes against Dover, or for the Hawks against Tonbridge, just one goal would have put them into a play-off semi-final with Sutton United.

The Hawks were aware before going into Saturday’s game against relegated Tonbridge that a win was all they would need, but neither side could find the net in what proved to be a disappointing end to the season for a buoyant side, who have lost only five of their 23 games played this calendar year.

Dover meanwhile knew that a win for them and a defeat or draw for the Hawks would be the only way they could claim the final playoff spot, and when Barry Cogan’s 87th minute penalty hit the back of the net, it gave them that just as the Hawks’ game was finishing.

The Hawks then are left to reflect on a tumultuous season that saw them play no less than 15 cup games, with the Senior Cup final yet to come, a semi-final appearance in the FA Trophy, a league programme that all but halted for two months in the winter, and a three match a week schedule through March and April that tested their mettle to the utmost - showing them ultimately to be a considerable force to be reckoned with in the Conference South.

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