Hawks battle back and have Billy Clifford sent off to secure draw at Hungerford

Hawks produced a battling second-half performance and finished with 10-men to earn a National League South point at Hungerford.
Jamie Collins, left, netted his third Hawks goal of the season at Hubgerford. Picture: Dave HainesJamie Collins, left, netted his third Hawks goal of the season at Hubgerford. Picture: Dave Haines
Jamie Collins, left, netted his third Hawks goal of the season at Hubgerford. Picture: Dave Haines

Jamie Collins' towering header from Oscar Gobern's corner just shy of the hour cancelled out Ryan Seager's early strike as it ended 1-1 at Bulpit Lane.

It was a draw Paul Doswell would probably be more satisfied with after Billy Clifford was dismissed on 63 minutes after collecting a second yellow card.

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But it did extend Hawks' run to just a solitary win in their previous five National League South outings as they were unable to put right the shock weekend home defeat to struggling Slough.

Hungerford were quick out of the traps and caught Hawks cold inside five minutes. Matt Jones' pinpoint cross was met by an unmarked Seager who was on hand fire home his fifth league goal this season.

Goalkeeper Will Mannion then saved from Matt Partridge and superbly kept out Sol Wanjau-Smith's header, which looked destined for the top corner as the visitors survived further scares.

Hawks were up in arms - and rightly so - when goalscorer Seager was shown a yellow card rather than receiving his marching order after barging Paul Rooney to ground off the ball on 26 minutes.

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The visitors did at least end the half brightly with James Roberts seeing a goalbound shot blocked then Billy Clifford firing over the rebound seven minutes before the break.

Mannion again got down low to keep out a Seager snapshot eight minutes after the restart but Hawks were level a minute before the hour as Collins beat his man to powerfully head home Oscar Gobern's corner.

But just four minutes after the visitors had hauled themselves level, they were reduced to 10-men for the second game in succession when Clifford received a second yellow card for a foul on Callum Willmoth.

Hungerford seemed to get a renewed lease of life after Clifford’s dismissal with Seager and Wanjau-Smith both firing efforts wide of goal.

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There was one late scare for the Hawks when substitute Chris Flood found the bottom corner in stoppage-time but he was flagged offside as it ended 1-1.

Hawks: Mannion; Rooney, Collins, Oastler, Gobern, Passley, McCarthy, Clifford, Green, Roberts, Wright. Subs: Rendell (Rooney, 54), Magri (Collins, 66), Adebowale (Passley, 72), Baggie, Newton.