Hawks crash to defeat in Billericay

A mistake from Stefan Bailey gifted Billericay their second goal  Picture: Dave Haines
A mistake from Stefan Bailey gifted Billericay their second goal Picture: Dave Haines
Bradley Tarbuck has picked up an injury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injuries force Hawks to cancel Totton trip... Baffins upbeat

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The Hawks were outmuscled as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat against Billericay at New Lodge in the Blue Square Bet South this afternoon.

Manager Lee Bradbury made two changes to his starting line-up, with Ryan Woodford and Eddie Hutchinson replacing Sam Page and Sahr Kabba.

Meanwhile, full-back Chris Arthur suffered a setback with his leg injury and could be out for a further three weeks.

Billericay put the Hawks under pressure in the opening minutes and Sam Lechmere curled a 20-yard free-kick narrowly past the upright.

Hutchinson put the visitors in trouble, allowing himself to be robbed just outside his own penalty area.

The home side played the ball through but Woodford got back to rescue the situation.

The Hawks felt they should have had a penalty on 10 minutes.

First, Christian Nanetti appeared to be hauled down in the area, and when Stefan Bailey hammered the loose ball goalwards, defender Dave Collis threw himself across goal to keep the shot out.

The Hawks felt he used his hand but the referee indicated he’d used his shoulder.

Masters saved the Hawks with a good block when Alex Osborn went clear, but there was nothing the keeper could do soon afterwards.

On 17 minutes, a cross was half cleared at the edge of the Hawks’ box and Collis raced in to smash home from 20 yards to make it 1-0.

The Hawks fell further behind on 28 minutes, following a casual piece of play from Bailey.

His sloppy pass midway inside the opposition half gave the ball away and Billericay launched a quick counter-attack down the right.

Luke Junior galloped down the wing and his pin-point low cross was turned in by Osborn from six yards.

Steve Ramsey had a chance but his low shot was pushed away by the goalkeeper and the same player was denied again with a stunning one-handed save soon afterwards.

Half Time: Billericay 2 Hawks 0

The Hawks made a positive start to the second half and Bailey saw his rising shot tipped over the top.

The visitors looked vulnerable to Billericay’s quick counter-attacks and Lechmere curled an effort just wide of the post.

The Hawks’ chances of a fightback were dashed in the 58th minute when Osborn stooped to head in at the far post from a corner to make it 3-0.

Bradbury immediately made two changes, sending on Ryan Moss and Scott Jones in place of Bailey and Nanetti.

On 61 minutes, Ramsey gave the Hawks some hope when he curled a shot into the far corner.

Jones then went close as suddenly the Hawks felt they could still salvage something from the game.

Both teams were pushing forward looking for further goals, setting up a grandstand finish.

The Hawks made another change, sending on Paul Hinshelwood for Hutchinson.

Jones headed narrowly over the bar from a Jake Newton cross as the Hawks continued to believe.

Moss headed wide at the far post after Jones again had an effort blocked by the keeper on the edge of the box.

Palmer got the ball in the net in the final minute but was ruled offside.

Billericay: Bartlett, Collis, Anderson, Thelwell, Wild, Lechmere, Poole, Osborn, Taylor, Junior. Subs: Green, May, Oates, Benjamin, Ottley.

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Ryan, Hutchinson, Harris, Woodford, Taggart, Bailey, Palmer, Ramsey, Nanetti. Subs: Page, Hinshelwood, Moss, Kabba, Jones.

Referee: S Ross.