THE Hawks’ unbeaten start to the Vanarama National League South campaign ended in a disappointing fashion with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bath City at Westleigh Park.
It was a tired looking performance from the hosts who could have few complaints about the result.
Lee Bradbury admitted his side were poor and second best on the day.
‘We weren’t at it and failed to get our game going,’ said Bradbury.
‘It isn’t good enough.
‘We were slow to react to things, slow to get things moving and didn’t have that spark and energy we normally possess.
‘A lot of games have come in quick succession but we can’t use that as an excuse because its been the same for all teams.
‘I felt that we didn’t quite have that cutting edge.
‘Bath were on the front foot a little bit more from the start and looked hungrier than us.
‘That hurts me because we have got a good group here but they just dropped their guard a little bit.
‘It goes to show that if you are going to do that you will get beat.’
From the beginning it looked as though the Hawks injury and fitness woes were starting to impact on them.
Three of their players had to pass fitness tests before the game and the whole team looked off the pace.
Bath took command of the midfield and were the better side for most of the opening 45 minutes.
A combination of missed chances and a good low save from Ryan Young however kept them out.
When the Hawks took the lead five minutes before the break it was against the run of play.
Jason Prior was on hand at the far post to bundle the ball in after the goalkeeper could only push out a Rory Williams free-kick.
‘To be honest I didn’t think we were worth our lead at half-time,’ said Bradbury.
‘After getting ourselves in front, though, we then shoot ourselves in the foot with some crazy defending.
‘Hopefully it will be a good lesson learnt and we can push on from here.’
To add insult to injury the equaliser was scored by ex-Hawk Marvin Morgan after he outmuscled defender Lee Molyneaux on the edge of the area.
The second goal soon afterwards came from a terrific 25 yard strike at the end of a quick counter-attack.
Bradbury is determined not to let the first defeat derail the Hawks good start.
‘We have had a good run and have to be ready to go again,’ said Bradbury.
Hawks: Young, Robinson, Harris, Molyneaux (Woodford 54), Williams, Carter (Tarbuck 54), Lewis, Widdrington, Fogden, Rutherford (Hayter 69), Prior
Bognor had to settle for a point after being held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Weston-super-Mare at Nyewood Lane.
Dan Beck scored the equaliser for the Rocks but they couldn’t make their man advantage count.