Hawks not giving up play-off push

Hawks boss Shaun Gale is not giving up on the play-offs
Hawks boss Shaun Gale is not giving up on the play-offs
Andreas Robinson. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Hawks manager Shaun Gale has urged his troops to hit the goal trail in a bid to salvage their season against lowly Bishop’s Stortford at West Leigh Park (3pm).

Two defeats against the Blue Square South’s top two sides in the past week have severely blunted the Hawks’ play-off chances but Gale refuses to throw in the towel.

‘There is no longer any room for error and this is a must-win game,’ said Gale.

‘The past two defeats have made it more difficult but not impossible and we are not going to give up.

‘It is no secret we are where we are because we have not scored enough goals and don’t have a striker in the goalscoring charts looking like they will grab 20-goals plus which is what you need.

‘This game is a bit like the last-chance saloon and we need to win football matches.

‘I can’t fault the effort and commitment from my players but we have not been clinical enough in the final third.

‘We won three games on the trot without playing particularly well and then put in two good performances and ended up with nothing.’

At Ebbsfleet last weekend, the Hawks showed they could be competitive against a powerful, physical side and felt they should have come away with at least a draw.

Against Braintree just over 48 hours later, Gale’s men dominated the opening 45 minutes, only to let a lead slip again.

‘If we had scored a second goal Braintree would have been dead and buried,’ said Gale.

‘In the second half, they did a job on us but the officials didn’t help allowing them to stop the rhythm of the game.’

Striker Manny Williams remains a serious doubt for tomorrow as he is still suffering from badly bruised ribs after running into the Dorchester Town goalkeeper.

Gale is also waiting to hear on whether Royal Navy defender Leon Cashman will be available.

Visitors Bishop’s Stortford are just two places above the relegation zone but Gale expects them to present his side with a difficult test.

‘I am looking for the same level of commitment and movement we have shown in our past two games,’ he added.

‘Three points are a must but Stortford won’t come here and make it easy for us.

‘We have 13 games to put it right and someone needs to hit a rich goalscoring run. If they can then we might well get close to what we want to achieve.’

Hawks: Ashmore, Newton, Pearce, Simpemba, Tyrrell, McDonald, Igoe, Hinshelwood, Fogden, Ramsey, Tiryaki, Sole, Selley, Scott, Robson, Cashman, Howe, Baldacchino.