Hawks boss Doswell aiming to extend his remarkable National League South record this weekend

Paul Doswell is once again aiming to extend a staggering record this weekend.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 2:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 2:41 pm
Hawks manager Paul Doswell. Photo by Dave Haines.

He has yet to oversee a Hawks away league loss since taking over as manager last summer.

Tuesday’s 3-1 success at Dulwich Hamlet was the club’s ninth National League South win on the road in 12 matches - with the other three ending in draws.

That contrasts sharply with the club’s home form, with last weekend’s 4-2 loss to leaders Wealdstone their fourth Westleigh Park league defeat of the term.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Doswell is managing in this league for the first time since 2015/16, when he won the NLS title with Sutton United.

Back then, he masterminded an extraordinary 12 wins and a draw in Sutton’s last 13 away league games. His last league defeat was at Ebbsfleet in September 2015.

As a result, he has gone 25 away games in the sixth tier without losing - winning 21 of them!

That run could be extended to 27 if Hawks avoid defeat at Chippenham this weekend and at Concord Rangers the following Saturday.

Hawks were also due to visit Billericay next Tuesday but that has now been called off to the hosts’ Essex Senior Cup commitments.

Doswell was delighted with Tuesday’s win in south London, where Hawks came from behind to score three times in the last 15 minutes.

‘I was proud of the players,’ he said. ‘We were under the cosh after Saturday. If we had lost at Dulwich questions would have started to be asked.

‘We produced a big, big performance. From one to 11, they were all brilliant.

‘The performance showed we have something about us.

‘Wealdstone at home was in the 90 per cent of football when you’re asking ‘why do we do this?’ Dulwich away was in the 10 per cent of football when you know why you do it.’

Unsurprisingly, no club has ever gone the entire season unbeaten on the road since the National League South was introduced in a non-league revamp in 2004.

Doswell’s Sutton in 2015/16 are just one of several clubs to have only lost twice on their travels - no-one has ever lost just one game.

Sutton’s 49 away points in 2015/16 equalled the NLS record set by Grays Athletic in winning the league in 2004/05.

Both clubs recorded 15 wins, four draws and just two losses.

When Hawks won the NLS title in 2017/18, Lee Bradbury’s side won 14, drew four and lost three.

Form is certainly on Doswell’s side ahead of this weekend’s trip to Wiltshire.

Chippenham have slipped into the bottom two after a dismal run of just one win in their last 13 league games.

New boss Michael Cook was close to winning his first game in charge - following Mark Collier’s dismissal - at Dulwich last weekend.

Chippenham led until the closing seconds before ex-Hawks striker Shamir Mullings levelled.

Chippenham had also drawn with Hemel the previous week, and Doswell said: ‘It will be a hard game - we won’t be under-estimating them.’