Havant & Waterlooville ‘deserved nothing’ as standards slipped from performances against Wrexham and Leyton Orient
Lee Bradbury regarded the Hawks 2-0 defeat against Maidstone United in their relegation six-pointer at the Gallagher Stadium as a huge let-down.
Bradbury has maintained that the Hawks’ Vanarama National League fate will be decided in games against teams in and around them.
On this evidence they are going to struggle to stay up.
The home side, who had not won at home on their 4G pitch for more than six months, ran out easy winners.
This was mainly because of a lacklustre and jaded performance by the visitors.
The Hawks failed miserably to come to terms with both the conditions and the playing surface.
Bradbury accepted it was nowhere near good enough.
The boss said: ‘It was a relegation scrap and we came out on the wrong side of it.
‘We failed to show the same levels of competitiveness that we did against Wrexham and Leyton Orient.
‘It is essential we maintain our levels week in week out.
‘Maybe we thought that we could just show up and expect to win or at least get something out of the game.
‘We didn’t and I felt we got what we deserved which was nothing.’
With a blustery wind blowing around the stadium conditions were difficult for both teams.
Maidstone, however, adapted the better and their quick players up front Embery and Blair Turgott posed the visitors plenty of problems.
On 33 minutes Wes Fogden lost possession deep in the home half and suddenly the Hawks were hit on the counter-attack.
Embery timed his run perfectly through the defence and expertly lifted the ball over Ben Dudzinski and into the far corner of the net.
The Hawks manager was disappointed with how that came about.
He said: ‘The first goal was always going to be important and we got caught too high up top.
‘Their lad Embery was lively, quick and willing to run causing our back two a few problems especially in the first half.
‘We are disappointed with both the sloppy goals we conceded.’
Nine minutes later Jack Powell, looking at least two yards offside, produced an equally composed finish.
Bradbury felt the Hawks could still have got themselves back into the game.
But he was annoyed they failed to find any spark.
He said: ‘We had more than enough of the ball in good areas to be able to hurt Maidstone but we didn’t.
‘That was disappointing. We had a lot of attacking players on the pitch but never put Maidstone under any pressure.
‘That is a frustrating thing because I know what the players are capable of.
‘We have got to go on a little run now.
‘There are nine games left and we have to look to pick up at least another 14 points.’
The Hawks remain four points adrift of safety and have to lift themselves to face Dagenham & Redbridge at Westleigh Park tomorrow night (7-45pm).
Hawks: Dudzinski, Strugnell, Rose, Cordner, Woodford (Carter 84), Lewis (Paul 63), Robinson A, Fogden, Jalloh (Paterson 63), Quigley, Rutherford.