Shaun Gale is hoping an ‘ugly’ 1-0 win over 10-man Maidenhead will help reignite the Hawks’ season.
Wes Fogden’s late strike sank the 10-man Magpies at York Lane last night.
The midfielder popped up to hammer home the winner seven minutes from time, rescuing the Hawks from a slovenly performance.
Not that their boss minds how his side conjured the three points.
Gale said: ‘Them going down to 10 men made it awkward on a difficult surface to pass the ball.
‘An ugly 1-0 is what we have been craving and it might kick us on again.
‘In the end we won the game and got the three points.
‘Maidenhead are scrapping for their lives at the bottom and even with 10 men they weren’t going to lie down.’
Central defender Sam Pearce returned from suspension, with Leon Cashman away on Royal Navy duty. Steve Ramsey also came in, taking up his position wide on the right with Joe Keehan dropping to the bench.
It was one of the comeback kids who enjoyed the first sight of goal, too, with Pearce glancing a header narrowly wide of the far post from Jon McDonald’s long throw.
Maidenhead responded, though, as Max Worsfold’s far-post header forced Nathan Ashmore into a low save.
The Hawks were then carved open down the left but when the ball was laid back Martel Powell blazed a fierce drive narrowly over the top.
After Hawks skipper Ian Simpemba was booked for a clumsy challenge on the pacy Worsfold, the visitors squandered a great chance to take the lead.
Manny Williams teed up Fogden only for the midfielder to slice his shot horribly wide.
Williams then sent a tantalising ball across the face of goal but Ramsey was thwarted by a last-ditch challenge.
Then, in the 21st minute, the balance swung in favour of the visitors when the home side were reduced to 10 men.
Alex Wall clashed with McDonald with both players falling to the ground but as the striker got to his feet he kicked out at the prone defender right under the nose of the referee.
With the extra man, the Hawks began to dominate possession but still failed to break the deadlock.
Keehan replaced McDonald for the second half but the Hawks still to lacked any spark.
In fact, it was the Magpies who looked more dangerous on the break.
Twice sloppy play by Ian Selley and Pearce put the Hawks in trouble and they were lucky to survive.
But just as it looked the Hawks would pay the price for an uninspiring performance, they snatched a winner.
Substitute Sammy Igoe floated in a free-kick and Simpemba headed it down for Fogden to control and crash a volley into the bottom corner.
Maidenhead: Clements, Solomon, Baddeley, Nicholls, Fyfield, Nisbet, Hinds, Powell, Knight, Wall, Worsfold. Subs: St Aimie, Fagan, Brown, Barney, Marshall.
Hawks: Ashmore, Newton, McDonald, Selley, Pearce, Simpemba, Fogden, Hinshelwood, Williams, Tiryaki, Ramsey. Subs: Keehan, Igoe, Tyrell, Scott, Howe.
Referee: C O’Donnell.