Boss Paul Doswell pinpoints 'massive call' which failed to go in Hawks' favour as Chippenham come out on top in final-day battle to claim play-off place

Paul Doswell felt his Hawks side were denied a 'nailed on' penalty as they fell at the last in their attempt to clinch a National League South play-off finish with a 2-0 home defeat to Chippenham on the final day of the season.

By Lewis Mason
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 6:14 pm
Hawks manager Paul Doswell Picture: Dave Haines)
Hawks manager Paul Doswell Picture: Dave Haines)

But the Hawks boss insisted the eighth place where his men ended at the campaign's conclusion was where they 'deserved' to sit after the 40-game sixth-tier season.

Yet Doswell was left angered by the moment he believes could have turned the tide back in his side's favour against the Bluebirds at Westleigh Park.

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Jake McCarthy went to ground in a crowded penalty area after a corner had been delivered on 76 minutes, under what Doswell described as a ‘two-handed push’ on the midfielder.

But there was nothing doing for referee Dale Wootton, who allowed play to go on, with Young thundering home after a quick counter less than a minute later to land a killer blow.

And Doswell believes that was a 'massive call' which failed for his side as they were leapfrogged into seventh position on a forgettable final day.

‘We all stopped waiting for the penalty, it wasn't given, that's a big call in the game from the referee,’ stressed Doswell.

‘I think you've got to look at that massive call (Jake McCarthy penalty appeal) - it was a two-handed push on McCarthy (Jake), who was going to head it in. It's a nailed on penalty. He's been two-handed pushed in the back. That would have been a penalty for us at 1-0, they've gone and broken from that (then scored).’

Doswell conceded missing out on the play-offs after an end of season run which had seen them suffer just two defeats in 15 matches was a ‘bitter pill to swallow’.

But he was adamant his squad could have no complaints at the eighth position where they finished up this term. Doswell added: ‘It was a fantastic start from us in the first 15 minutes. The game then settled down into a standard half, they had one chance from a Ben Shroll mistake, we had three or four efforts just wide.

‘Scotty (Scott) Rendell should have scored in the first minutes with a flicked header, Robbo (James Roberts), when the ball was coming down to him, their lads made a great block and it's gone out for a corner.

‘There were lots of half opportunities, second half - I thought Rooney (Paul) coming off with a hamstring was a blow. It's a bitter pill to swallow (missing out on play-offs) but, ultimately, you finish where you deserve to finish after 40 games. This year, we finished eighth, ultimately, that's where we deserved to finish.’