Havant & Waterlooville slide deeper into National League relegation trouble with defeat at Maidenhead
The Hawks slipped deeper into relegation trouble with a 2-1 defeat at Maidenhead United.
Two second-half goals condemned Lee Bradbury’s side to a disappointing loss that leaves them seven points from National League safety.
The Hawks gave debuts to two new loan signings in Aston Villa goalkeeper Martija Sarkic and Millwall midfielder Harry Donovan at York Road.
Meanwhile, Rory Williams returned to the defence after injury.
The first chance fell to the home side after five minutes when Ryan Upward sent a shot bouncing past the post.
Ex-Hawk Adrian Clifton then muscled his way past Ed Harris but was stopped by a last-ditch tackle as he closed in on goal
There was little quality on show, although Maidenhead had the better of the play.
As half-time approached, though, the Hawks had their best chance of the half.
Wes Fogden set Alfie Rutherford clear but the striker lost possession when trying to go round the goalkeeper.
The Magpies started the second period on the front foot and Ayo Obileye headed over from a corner.
Williams then had to clear off the goal line when Sarkic failed to cut out a cross.
On 62 minutes Maidenhead finally broke the deadlock – and it unsurprisingly came from a set-piece.
A free-kick was swung in from the right and was headed on before Upward volleyed in at the back post.
The Hawks were being outmuscled and beaten time and time again in the air.
With 10 minutes left Bradbury’s troops finally came to life and saw a header cleared off the line.
But in the 87th minute Clifton rifled home from inside the area to kill off this former side.
Substitute Matt Paterson pulled a goal back in the final minute of normal time for the visitors but it was too little, too late.
The Hawks now face a significant task to preserve their National League status.
Dover’s 3-1 win at Dagenham & Redbridge leaves the Westleigh Park side seven points adrift of 20th-placed Boreham Wood with six games remaining.