Match Data 2010/2011
Mustafa Tiryaki (Sewell, 45)
Slabber (pen, 90)
Ross Bottomley (Goodhind, 66)
Luke Byles (McAuley, 81)
Anthony Riviere (Slabber, 60)
The Hawks crunched to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of local rivals Eastleigh this afternoon, despite having led the Spitfires 2-1 at half time.
After a cagey opening from both sides it was the hosts who took the lead in the Bank Holiday Derby when Brett Williams capitalised on a lapse in concentration in the Hawks’ back line and found himself with only committed keeper Aaron Howe to beat.
His tap in riled the visitors, who struck back six minutes from the break when Leon Cashman chipped a superb through ball from Guiseppe Sole back over Spitfires keeper Gareth Barfoot from the narrowest of angles.
And the Hawks surged ahead five minutes after that when Bobby Hopkinson’s cross dropped the ball in front of Sole, whose shot from the back of the box was punched past Barfoot by Mustafa Tiryaki.
But after the break the Hawks failed to retain their momentum and conceded three times in the last twenty minutes.
“The story really is if you don’t defend set pieces you don’t win games.” Hawks boss Shaun Gale admitted after the game.
“We know Eastleigh are good at set pieces; they’ve got some strong, powerful players and their goals have come from that.”
The Hawks also suffered a blow at half time when key striker Tiryaki failed to reappear from the tunnel and was replaced by Hawks Academy graduate Liam Sewell.
Mulling over a substitute bench made up of three former academy players and a flu-ridden Paul Hinshelwood, Gale summed up his frustration with the second half:
“We got ourselves back in the driving seat at 2-1 up, so losing Mustafa at half time was a massive blow to us.” He said.
“He got a nasty kick in the first half and he just couldn’t run. With a dead leg there’s no point putting him out there, if he can’t run he can’t play.
“If you look at our bench today there was no strength or depth, especially compared to what Eastleigh can bring on.
“No disrespect to Liam, but he’s naïve and young and Tiryaki’s a big strong player. In a game like today’s you need that, and Muzzy gives us that extra defensive edge too.
“But that isn’t an excuse because we came here to win and we gave a good account with a weakened side. We’ll have Tiryaki back at the weekend if his leg isn’t too bad, and perhaps Ramsey, but they’ll be the only ones.
It was former Hawk Tom Jordan who levelled the score for Eastleigh in the 72nd minute when he got on the end of a long free kick from Williams and twisted a perfect header inside the top corner.
The Hawks then thought they retaken the lead two minutes from time when Wes Fogden’s run into the box left Manny Williams to fire home, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Then calamity struck on the edge of injury time when Tony Taggart’s corner was cleared only as far as the edge of the Hawks’ box, and Williams was left in acres of space when the ball came back in for an easy header.
Eastleigh’s victory was then sealed three minutes into added time when the referee’s assistant spotted a debated foul by Jon McDonald on Williams just inside the penalty area, and Jamie Slabber converted from the penalty spot on the whistle.
Despite the last minute nature of the defeat, Gale remained optimistic about his side’s performance:
“I thought we deserved to get a lot more out of the game, but that’s football. We’ll play a lot worse and win. Eastleigh haven’t beaten us too often but today was their day. There aren’t too many teams in our league who’ve got their power and strength.
“We gave them three goals, and you don’t win football matches if you do that. I’m frustrated and massively disappointed for the lads because they put in a decent shift and they deserved more.”