SHAUN GALE slammed the Hawks’ ‘totally unacceptable’ display after last night’s embarrassing Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final exit to Winchester City.
Despite fielding virtually a full-strength side, Gale’s men slipped to a 1-0 defeat to their Wessex premier division opponents at West Leigh Park.
The Hawks dominated the contest, only to fall to a 79th-minute sucker punch.
And Gale was left fuming by his team’s failure to progress.
He said: ‘If you are not prepared to do the ugly things, you don’t win games.
‘It is the same if you don’t take your chances. I am angry about it and the level of performance from certain players was nowhere near good enough.
‘It is totally unacceptable.’
The Hawks made three changes to the side who won 2-1 at Chelmsford at the weekend, with keeper Nathan Ashmore, Ellis Martin and Steve Ramsey all coming into the starting line-up.
Early on, Sam Pearce drifted a pass to Wes Fogden but his shot went wide.
The home side picked up an early booking after Paul Hinshelwood went through the back of Danny Reeves.
The first chance arrived on nine minutes when Mustafa Tiryaki met Ramsey’s curling cross from the right but headed over the top of the bar.
The Hawks were starting to dominate, playing controlled football from the back, with the visitors forced to get bodies behind the ball.
On 15 minutes, Tiryaki turned a pass back to Joe Keehan who smashed an angled drive wide of the near post.
The Hawks were having plenty of time on the ball but their final distribution left a lot to be desired.
Winchester had their first effort on 21 minutes as Michael Dickson got ahead of Pearce, only to shoot straight at Ashmore.
Keehan brought a low save from keeper Rory Anderson with a 20-yard drive but, still, the Hawks could not find a breakthrough.
City grew in confidence slowly and Usmain Adeniki sent a thunderous long-range drive over the bar from a corner.
It was all far too predictable from the Hawks and, two minutes before half-time, Ian Selley was brought on for Hinshelwood.
The Hawks continued where they left off at the start of the second half – on the offensive.
But Tiryaki was guilty of wasting two chances in the space of two minutes.
When Martin’s deep cross fell to the striker at the far post, Tiryaki had time to pick his spot, only to fire into the side netting. Soon afterwards, he missed again after Fogden pulled the ball back to him from the goalline.
It was virtually one-way traffic, with Winchester pinned back in their own half. Tiryaki sent a glancing header past the far post from a Selley cross but the visitors continued to frustrate their opponents.
On 66 minutes the Hawks had their best chances yet when Fogden’s shot was beaten out by the legs of Anderson.
The home side made another change, sending on Giuseppe Sole for Keehan.
The visitors, who had hardly been a threat all night, stunned the Hawks by taking a 79th-minute lead.
When the hosts failed to clear a corner, Lee Mills turned and squeezed his shot just inside the far post.
In the final minute, Sole was denied by a point-blank save from the City keeper.
Hawks: Ashmore, Newton, McDonald, Ramsey, Pearce, Simpemba, Fogden, Hinshelwood (Selly 43), Martin, Tiryaki, Keehan. Subs: Sole, Williams, Gadd, Scott.
Winchester: Anderson, McCarthy, Aromone, Adeniji, Quirke, Mills, Reeves, Rowe, Dickson, Glasspool, Odeh. Subs: Peasah, Asajile, Screen.