Late leveller denies Hawks win in finale

Sahr Kabba put the Hawks ahead against the run of play   Picture: Dave Haines

Sahr Kabba put the Hawks ahead against the run of play Picture: Dave Haines

Tony Stares

Chairman Stares determined to ensure better times for Gosport

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The Hawks ended their season with a 1-1 draw against Boreham Wood at Westleigh Park.

Sahr Kabba fired in the winning goal on the stroke of half-time but it was a case of daylight robbery after the visitors dominated the opening 45 minutes.

A goal in the last five minutes gave the visitors a deserved share of the spoils.

The home side gave winger Kelvin Weekes a first start, with Chris Arthur moving to cover the absent Alex Grant at full-back.

Central defender Juan Cruz Gotta was missing after having a trial with Football League outfit Port Vale in midweek.

Before kick-off, Lee Bradbury and Ollie Palmer picked up their respective Blue Square Bet South manager and player of the month awards for March.

Clark Masters pulled off a good point-blank save from Michael Thalassitis after a dreadful clearance from Ed Harris inside the opening five minutes.

The visitors looked the brighter and Masters had to get behind Mario Noto’s well-struck 20-yard free-kick.

The busy Masters was then fouled as he pushed away a high, bouncing ball on the edge of his area.

The Hawks were struggling to get any possession but on 13 minutes they went closest to grabbing the lead.

Kabba took the ball around goalkeeper James Russell and pulled it back to Palmer whose low, curling shot was cleared off the goalline.

Masters was soon in action again, though, with a good low one-handed save from Charlie Moone’s cross-shot from inside the area.

On 25 minutes the keeper and Eddie Hutchinson combined again to rescue the Hawks after a neat one-two carved the home defence apart.

Greg Norman fired narrowly over the top as the Hawks remained distinctly second best.

In a poor first-half the hosts had Kabba, Steve Ramsey and Dan Strugnell booked.

Three minutes into stoppage-time the Hawks broke the deadlock totally against the run of play.

When the visitors failed to clear their lines, Hutchinson threaded the ball through to Kabba who drove a low shot past the goalkeeper.

The Hawks made a change at the start of the second half with Ryan Woodford replacing Weekes.

Masters was in action again, palming Graeme Montgomery’s deflected shot around the post.

When the Hawks counter-attacked from the corner, visiting keeper Russell pulled off a remarkable save.

Arthur burst clear down the left and crossed for the unmarked Christian Nanetti five yards out but somehow Russell changed direction to touch the goalbound ball over the bar.

It was better from the Hawks and Russell was forced to save low at the near post from Palmer.

The hosts made another change midway through the half as Joe Noakes took the place of Arthur.

Another low Montgomery shot was easily saved by Masters as Boreham Wood searched for an equaliser.

The visitors kept probing and substitute Lewis Toomey knocked a close-range effort past the foot of the post.

In the final five minutes, the Hawks had a let-off when Moone crashed a shot against the outside of the post

A minute later, substitute Rob Hastings looped a shot over Masters with his first touch of the ball for a deserved equaliser.

Blue Square Bet South

HAWKS 1 (Kabba)

BOREHAM WOOD 1 (Hastings)

Att: 828

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Arthur, Hutchinson, Harris, Strugnell, Nanetti, Ramsey, Palmer, Kabba, Weekes. Subs: Jones, Bossman, Woodford, Monteiro, Noakes.

Boreham Wood: Russell, Nunnery, Jones, Noto, O’Laughlin, Reynolds, Morgan, Isaac, Thalassitis, Moone, Montgomery. Subs: Toomey, Hastings, Doolan, Brown, Knight.

Referee: S Knapp (Bristol).

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