Hawks bounce back to record 'massive' win on the road at Hemel Hempstead

Paul Doswell rated the Hawks’ 2-1 Vanarama National league South success against Hemel Hempstead as a big win.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 4:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th January 2020, 4:36 pm
Sam Magri fired the Hawks ahead at Hemel Hempstead. Picture: Dave Haines/Portsmouth News

He praised the way his side bounced back after their disappointing home defeat against Maidstone.

The way his team dug in and battled under severe pressure late on also impressed him as the Hawks maintained their amazing season-long unbeaten away league run.

‘This is a massive three points in the context of our season,’ said Doswell.

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‘Hemel rarely lose games at home and are a good team.

‘We talked all week about the importance of turning up for the whole 90 minutes and we did just that.

‘It was important that we won this game after losing against Maidstone.

‘I targeted getting six points from every set of three games and this, in a roundabout way, helped us achieve that.

‘That makes it eight wins and three draws from our away games, which is a superb record.

‘After they pulled a goal back Hemel put us under a lot of pressure and I can't deny it got a bit nervy.

‘They were getting at us down the sides so I sent on Dean Beckwith and Joe Cook.

‘We defended very well and limited them to a few chances.

‘Our goalkeeper hardly had a save to make.’

The Hawks made a dream start with Sam Magri putting them in front after only four minutes.

The ex-Pompey defender rose at a corner and thumped in a header which gave keeper Sam Beasant little chance.

Soon afterwards, the Hawks should have been further ahead.

‘Jonah (Ayunga) has to score five minutes later after Danny Kedwell set it up on a plate,’ said Doswell.

‘Unfortunately, Jonah has got his feet mixed up a bit and missed out.

‘On a difficult pitch that cut up badly, Ayunga and Alfie Rutherford (who came on as a sub) both put in a good shift.’

It looked plain sailing for the visitors when they increased their lead nine minutes into the second half.

Another dangerous corner was scrambled out and as the ball fell to Josh Taylor he was fouled in the area.

Kedwell - who had missed his previous penalty in last month’s FA Trophy exit at Chelmsford - stepped up and fired a confident spot-kick into the roof of the net.

The Tudors stepped up their efforts after this and on 62 minutes got themselves back into the game when Jack Midson got free and tucked his shot past Ross Worner.

‘The next half-hour it was backs to the wall stuff,’ said Doswell.

The win kept Hawks third, eight points behind leaders Wealdstone with three games in hand.

They now have a huge week ahead of them with fourth-placed Slough visiting Westleigh Park on Wednesday and Wealdstone arriving three days later.