Gale: Hawks must keep grafting to halt bad run

Sammy Igoe struck a penalty for Hawks
Sammy Igoe struck a penalty for Hawks
AFC Portchester cruised to victory. Picture: Neil Marshall

Frustration for Fareham... Royals cruise through

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THE HAWKS slipped to their fifth loss in six Blue Square South matches, going down 2-1 at Eastbourne Borough.

Manager Shaun Gale faces a battle to recover the situation with injuries and suspensions hindering his plans.

Unlike the recent defeat at Salisbury City, there was plenty of effort and endeavour from the visitors at Priory Lane.

And Gale’s patched up outfit could justly claim they deserved something out of the game.

In the end though, a terrific strike and a lapse of concentration at a free-kick condemned the Hawks to defeat, leaving them 17th in the league.

‘We did more than enough to get something from the game but everything seems to be going against us,’ said Gale.

‘I am not one for making excuses but it is just one injury after another.

‘We lost Scott Jones at half-time, and to be fair Saturday was probably a bridge too far for him, and Lee Peacock, who was only able to train Thursday, has cramped up late on.

‘It’s all coming at the wrong time and it is massively frustrating.

‘Having got ourselves back into the game after falling behind to a wonder strike we switched off at a free-kick.

‘The only way we get out of this is to keep grafting and try to get players back fit.’

With Steve Ramsey suspended for five games, Gale gave a debut to Dagenham & Redbridge loanee Conor Okus and the Hawks had the better of the opening exchanges in a goalless first half.

Borough took the lead within three minutes of the restart.

A ball to the edge of the Hawks area was only partially cleared and Steve Brinkhurst hammered an unstoppable shot past debutant keeper Lyall Beazely.

The Hawks responded within five minutes.

Wes Fogden latched onto Gary Elphick’s woefully short back-pass only to be felled by keeper Rikki Banks for a penalty.

Sammy Igoe coolly placed his spot-kick into the bottom corner for 1-1.

The joy was shortlived though, as six minutes later the visitors failed to defend a quickly-taken free-kick.

Matt Crabb got away on the left flank and cut in to fire a fierce shot that Beazely could only parry away.

Brinkhurst picked up the loose ball and drilled home a low shot.

Newcomer Okus had the Hawks’ best chance to equalise late on but could only send a tame volley straight at the goalkeeper from six yards.

‘After being in total control in the first half we needed to score a goal but didn’t,’ said Gale.

‘We need to stick together and can’t afford to have any chinks in the armour.

‘There are good players in the squad but we are having a horrendous time with injuries.

‘It is frustrating times.’

Ex-Queens Park Rangers youth player Chris Arthur did well on his debut as substitute full-back in the second half and Gale is hoping to bring in another new face this week.

Hawks: Beazely 7; Woodford 6, Ryan 6, Igoe 7, Holland 6, Pearce 6, Fogden 8, Okus 7, Peacock 6 (Whyte 78mins – 6), Jones 6 (Arthur 45mins – 7), Braham-Barrett 5.

Att: 668