Hawks keep making life difficult themselves

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Ryan Woodford has making 200 appearances for the Hawks. Picture: Keith Woodland

Woodford challenged to make 400 Hawks appearances

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The Hawks almost pressed the self-destruct button again before fighting back to earn a 2-2 draw against Tonbridge Angels at Westleigh Park.

Woeful defending saw them concede two goals in the opening 25 minutes against the lively visitors – and left them chasing the game.

For the fourth time in seven matches, though, the Hawks showed their battling qualities to hit back and get something from the game.

Assistant manager Barry Blankley is frustrated by his side’s habit of making life difficult for themselves, though.

‘We cannot keep giving the opposition a start and expect to win football matches – particularly not two goals,’ he said.

‘Both the goals we gave away were soft efforts and easily preventable.

‘We could see from the touchline that Tonbridge were playing pass and go but the players failed to stick with their runners.

‘If our opponents can bust a gut to get into good positions, I expect our players to do the same to stop them.’

The home side were punished severely for a lethargic start in the searing heat by a team still searching for a first win of the season.

On 11 minutes Chris Piper had all the time in the world to pick his spot with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Even that didn’t stir the Hawks and on 25 minutes Henry Muggeridge raced past their statuesque defenders to poke the ball past an exposed Clark Masters in goal.

That finally stung the Hawks into action and within two minutes Ed Harris was claiming the final touch after a long Chris Arthur free-kick from the touchline ended up in the net.

It was good entertainment for the 800-plus crowd as two attack-minded sides carved out a series of chances.

The Hawks pushed Tonbridge back in the second half and on 65 minutes grabbed a deserved equaliser.

Arthur was played in down the left and the full-back burst to the byline before dinking a perfect cross to the far post. Ollie Palmer climbed above his defender and guided his header into the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Substitutes from both teams could have won the game in stoppage-time.

Angels’ Mikel Suarez fired over from a good position and at the other end Scott Jones fired wide of the post with just the goalkeeper to beat.

‘We should have gone on and won the game,’ said Blankley.

‘Both Ryan Moss and Scott Jones had late chances but we were not clinical enough in front of goal. When we cut out silly individual errors in defence and start taking our chances then we will begin to win more matches.

‘We need to keep a clean sheet.’

The Hawks had pencilled a friendly against Bashley in for Tuesday night – but with the Southern League outfit in FA Cup replay action, they have had to scrap it – and it will not be replaced.

Hawks: Masters 8, Woodford 7, Arthur 7, Hinshelwood 6, Page 7, Harris 6, Ramsey 5 (Taggart 60mins, 6), Dawson 7, Kabba 6 (Moss 70mins, 7), Palmer 7 (Jones 87mins), Nanetti 7

Att: 805