Hawks avoid FA Cup banana skin after half-time ‘kick up the backside’

Ryan Seager celebrates scoring the third goal against Hadley
Ryan Seager celebrates scoring the third goal against Hadley
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Paul Doswell admitted the Hawks needed a 'kick up the backside' at half-time before beating Hadley 3-0 in their third qualifying round FA Cup tie at Westleigh Park.

The first half ended goalless with the Essex Senior League minnows - who play at the same level as the Premier Division of the Wessex League - fully deserving to go in on level terms.

Alfie Rutherford heads Hawks' second goal against Hadley

Alfie Rutherford heads Hawks' second goal against Hadley

It was a hugely disappointing opening 45 minutes from the hosts and the players were left in no doubt about how the management felt about it.

'We haven't had to have many half-time discussions, talks, with the players up to now,' said Doswell.

'Ian Baird had to go in at half-time and do what he is very good at.

'It is probably the first time this season that we have been unhappy with the way we have gone about our business

'We were disappointing and the players got a rocket.

'There were lots of things we didn't do right in the first half.

'We didn't press the ball, pass it accurately enough and were very slow in our build up.

'Far too many touches were taken on the ball.

'This played right into their hands because it allowed them to get back into shape.

'The workrate of seven or eight players was below par.'

It was a different Hawks that came out at the start of the second half.

Within seven minutes they punished the visitors for giving the ball away.

It was worked quickly to Josh Taylor and his cross was smashed into the net at the second attempt by top scorer Jonah Ayunga.

Suddenly Hadley looked vulnerable and soon afterwards Alfie Rutherford extended the lead with a close range header.

It was a struggle from that point on for the visitors and the Hawks hit the woodwork three times before the end.

'The players responded well and came out better in the second half,' said Doswell.

'They upped their game.

'Once we got the first goal and a second quickly afterwards it was relatively comfortable.

'You have to give Hadley massive credit. They ran their socks off in the first half and had a couple of deflected efforts that left me with my heart in my mouth.'

Five minutes from the end substitute Ryan Seager added a third for the Hawks.