Late heartache for brave Hawks

Hawks' Perry Ryan. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks' Perry Ryan. Picture: Dave Haines
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Ten man Hawks’ brave rearguard action failed to bring any reward as Welling United scored three times in the final five minutes to take a crucial 3-1 victory.

Perry Ryan gave the visitors a second minute lead before Scott Jones was sent off on the stroke of half-time.,

It was a brave effort from the Hawks and they deserved more than a third consecutive Blue Square Bet South defeat.

The Hawks made one change from the side that lost 3-1 at Chelmsford, with Ollie Palmer coming in up front and Chris Arthur slotting in at left-back in place of Jon McDonald who dropped to the bench.

And the visitors made a dream start with a goal after just two minutes.

Steve Ramsey curled in a pin-point free-kick from the right and Ryan rose unmarked to thump home a header from 10 yards.

The visitors were looking up for it and another strong burst from Arthur on the left gave Welling problems.

The Hawks had a let-off, however, on eight minutes – Ben Greenhalgh raced to the byline and his deft chip from a tight angle bounced clear off the crossbar.

Soon afterwards Greenhalgh got to the byline again but Lyall Beazley in the Hawks goal cut out his high cross.

Jones then found himself in trouble for a late challenge on Loui Fazakerley and earned a booking.

The Hawks were working hard, closing Welling down quickly and giving them little time to settle on the ball.

Ryan Woodford was in commanding form at the back, winning a series of clearing headers.

Beazley had to back track quickly to catch the ball under his crossbar after Scott Kinch lobbed the ball in.

The Hawks were looking solid at the back, with Jake Newton producing a number of superbly timed tackles.

As the half progressed, the home fans increasingly called upon the officials to penalise the visiting players, accusing them of diving.

Eventually this had its effect when Jones, bursting over halfway, was adjudged to have dived under pressure and picked up a second booking which saw him sent off.

The Hawks found themselves pinned back at the start of the second half as Welling attacked them down the slope.

The game became increasingly hostile and the two sides squared up to each other after Pires dived in on Beazley.

The Hawks keeper then did well to turn a low Pires drive against the post and behind for a corner.

When the away side broke out, Ramsey went close to extending their lead with a quickly taken shot from the edge of the box, which home keeper Craig Holloway almost let slip away.

Beazley produced a fabulous point-blank save to divert a Pires effort from three yards over the top.

And from the resulting corner Ramsey cleared off the line as the Hawks continued their brave resistance.

Just when it looked as though the Hawks were set to pick up a deserved win, it all fell apart in the final five minutes as the home side scored three times.

First, Pires went down under a Pearce challenge, resulting in a penalty.

Beazley pushed out Clarke’s spot-kick but Harry Baker knocked in the rebound.

Welling attacked from the restart and when the ball was turned across to Greehalgh he fired a shot just inside the upright.

Almost immediately, Greenhalgh got away and crossed for Luis Cumbers to touch in from three yards and seal the points.

Welling: Holloway, Fazakerley, Obersteller, Sambrook, Acheampong, Martin, Cracknell, Clarke, Cumbers, Greenhalgh, Pires. Subs: Baker, Flack, Kensington, Cullum, Kinch.

Hawks: Beazley, Newton, Arthur, Hinshelwood, Woodford, Pearce, Igoe, Ramsey, Jones, Palmer, Ryan. Subs: McDonald, Hopkinson, Fenelon, Holland.

Referee: Mr C Brook