AN inspired second-half display from old head Sammy Igoe and young guns Ollie Palmer and Scott Jones helped the Hawks to a 4-2 win over Dorchester Town last night.
Trailing 2-0 at half-time in the Blue Square South encounter at Westleigh Park, the trio tormented the visitors’ defence after the break to set-up a thrilling comeback.
Palmer scored a brace to level the scores – both from Igoe crosses – before the tricky winger notched the third himself.
The lively Jones then teed-up Ryan Woodford to complete the scoring, leaving Hawks’ boss Shaun Gale delighted.
‘That was reward for all the hard work that the team – both the players and staff – have put in over the last few weeks,’ he said.
‘We’ve been unfairly uncriticised over the last few weeks, but the lads showed, with that excellent second-half display, just what they’re capable of achieving.
‘They battered a decent side.’
The Hawks started fast and went close when the fit again Steve Ramsey blasted a 30-yard free-kick against the Dorchester crossbar.
But in the eighth minute, the Hawks showed their defensive frailties once more.
The visitors’ Nick Crittenden floated in a corner from the left and the ball was allowed to travel unopposed across the six-yard box for Gary Bowles to tap home from two yards.
Ben Dickinson increased the Dorchester lead shortly after when he cut in from the right and struck a low shot past Lyall Beazely in the Hawks’ goal
The home side responded and went close through both Palmer and Woodford as the half wore on.
However, Dorchester could have increased their lead when a Dickinson cross from the left saw Crittenden creep in at the back post but somehow miss the target with his first-time volley from five yards.
The Hawks reverted from a 4-3-3 formation to 4-4-2 at half-time and this tactical switch soon paid dividends.
Igoe put in a superb cross from the right, which was met by the head of Perry Ryan. And, although his effort hit the underside of the bar, the ball was forced over the line by Palmer.
Igoe was involved again in the build-up to the Hawks’ second, as his cross was nodded home by Palmer to level the scores.
The Hawks’ young frontline of Palmer and Jones were causing all kinds of problems for the visitors and it came as no surprise when the hosts went ahead.
Palmer slipped the ball into Jones who saw his shot pushed out by Dorchester keeper Walker-Harris into the path of Igoe, who rolled the ball home for a 3-2 lead.
Jones then scraped the top of the away side’s crossbar with a shot from 20 yards.
That was before the striker dribbled to the byline and pulled the ball back for Woodford to slot home from 12 yards and complete the win.
The Hawks will be looking to build on their second-half performance when they host Farnborough on Saturday.
HAWKS: Beazely, Newton, Ryan, Ramsey, Holland, Woodford, Braham-Barrett, Jones, Pericard, Igoe, Palmer. Subs: Hinshelwood, Whyte, Peacock, McDonald, Pearce.
DORCHESTER: Walker-Harris, Critchell, Smeeton, Nicholls, Walkers, Bowles, Crittenden, Gleeson, Moss, Dickinson, Mekki. Subs: Devlin, Flood, Martin, Dovell, Wilson.