Hawks boss Lee Bradbury lauded the work ethic of his players as they recorded a much-needed 2-1 victory over Bishop’s Stortford in the National League South.
The win failed to take the Westleigh Park side out of the bottom three, after fourth-from-bottom Hayes & Yeading recorded a 2-0 win at Weston-super-Mare.
But the triumph, thanks to a Scott Donnelly double, was the response Bradbury demanded after last week’s defeat to neighbours Gosport Borough.
And he admitted it will provide his side with a massive boost going into the business end of the season.
‘That was a big win for us and the result of a gutsy performance,’ said the Hawks boss.
‘We worked really hard from first minute to the last and that is what it takes to win games of football.
‘All our players worked their socks off and it is evident when we do that we can win. They were awesome.
‘Psychologically, this will give the lads a big boost.
‘Losing to Gosport last week hurt us and we were determined other teams are not going to come here and have an easy ride.
‘We played some good football and scored some good goals.
‘In the end we needed players to put their bodies on the line and they certainly did that. Hopefully this win will see us start to turn the tide.’
The visitors had the first clear opening in the seventh minute when Johnny Herd drilled a low shot across the face of the Hawks goal.
In response, Theo Lewis curled in a free-kick from the left for Shamir Mullings who sent a header drifting wide of the post.
The hosts were looking a lot busier in midfield than of late and a good move ended with Nic Ciardini firing past the near post.
With the home side getting on top, Lewis saw his jabbed shot rebound off visiting goalkeeper Tom Lovelock’s legs.
The Hawks then took a 28th-minute lead through a superb piece of opportunism from Donnelly.
The midfielder picked the ball up 20 yards out and, spotting Lovelock fractionally off his line, he produced an exquisite chip which went in off the underside of the crossbar to give Bradbury’s side a 1-0 advantage at the break.
The Hawks continued to show good energy in midfield at the start of the second half, with Lewis particularly prominent.
Home stopper Ryan Young rescued the Westleigh Park side with a superb block on the edge of his area when Morgan Ferrier was put clean through on goal.
On 70 minutes the Hawks grabbed the all important second goal – and once again it was Donnelly who produced the finish.
Mullings showed great strength to get through a tackle before feeding his team-mate to the right of the area.
Donnelly then took the ball forward before smashing a low shot into the bottom far corner of the net.
A tense finale resulted when Ferrier reduced the arrears nine minutes from time with a downward header.
However, the Hawks held out to secure their first league win in three matches.
wessex league premier: Alresford Town 0-2 Moneyfields
Hampshire Senior Cup: Totton & Eling 2-5 Horndean
Sussex Senior Cup: Bognor 2-1 Burgess Hill