Hawks boss Doswell: I’ll find out a lot more about my players in the next few weeks

Paul Doswell believes the Hawks are about to find out what they are really made of following their 4-2 home defeat against Wealdstone.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 2:16 pm
Hawks' Josh Taylor in action during the home loss to Wealdstone. Photo by Dave Haines.

He is looking for a massive reaction in their National League South game against Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill on Tuesday (7.45pm).

The second half performance at the weekend against the league leaders left a lot of question marks against his squad.

Defensively they looked slow, ponderous and prone to making schoolboy errors.

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They gifted Wealdstone three goals and were lucky to get away with two other mistakes.

By the end the visitors were running riot and completely in charge.

It was a second successive home defeat for the Hawks who have been far from convincing at home all season. Indeed, they have only won five of their 12 Westleigh Park league matches - and lost to Dulwich at home in the FA Cup.

In contrast their away form has been impeccable and they are yet to be beaten on their travels - the only such record in the top six tiers of English football apart from Liverpool.

With the next four games all away from home - others are at Chippenham, Billericay and Concord - it will be a massive test of their ability to keep that run going.

Doswell knows it won't be easy for his side to bounce back against in-form Dulwich, who have won two and drawn two of their last four league matches.

'There is no doubt that I am looking for a response,' he said.

'I will find out a lot more about my players in the next few games.

'We will need a reaction because Dulwich have not lost since the end of last year.

'They also beat us at Westleigh Park in the FA Cup.

'I will be putting out a team that I feel can go there and get a result.

'We can't defend like we did against Wealdstone again and expect to get anything from the game.

'Our better players need to turn up as there are no easy games in this league.'

It will be a surprise if Doswell doesn't consider making changes at the back.

He has the option of recalling Joe Cook and Benny Read to the starting line-up if he feels he needs more pace and mobility.

They certainly missed the injured Craig Robson in the heart of their backline as Wealdstone claimed a first away league win since early October.

Re-introducing the vastly experienced Nicky Bailey in front of the defence is another change he might consider.

Striker Jonah Ayunga could be a doubt after limping off in the first half at the weekend.

The defeat allowed Wealdstone to open up an 11-point gap over Hawks.

However, Doswell’s men have three games in hand and a win in south London against Hamlet would go a long way to repairing the weekend damage.