Hawks denied win following late drama at Braintree
A stoppage-time leveller denied the Hawks three vital points at Braintee in the National League South.
Substitute Alfie Rutherford though he had given Paul Doswell’s side a vital win in the push for promotion, following goals from Jonah Ayunga and Josh Taylor.
But those hopes were dashed following Rhys Williams’ late effort from a free-kick – his second goal of the game.
The Hawks were on top to start with and in the early minutes Ayunga was fouled but the cross from the free kick was too long.
Another cross early on eluded everyone but after 10 minutes a Danny Kedwell cross was met by Ayung.
But on this occasion, his soft header was straight at the keeper.
Immediately afterwards, the linesman went down injured and a stand-in volunteer was found from the crowd.
Braintree went ahead after 22 minutes when Rhys Williams got around the visiting defence and his cross was directed home by Alfie Currulli.
Nearly all the Hawks’ through balls were proving too strong but after 35 minutes a Kedwell pass found Ayunga, who controlled the ball well, beat a defender and slipped the ball into the far corner of the net.
Moments later, good work by Kedwell and Taylor saw an Ayunga header cleared off the line, before Nicky Bailey put the loose ball in the net from an off side position.
The Hawks finished the half well on top but the score remained level up to the break.
The visitors were on the front foot after the restart and on 56 minutes a Kedwell cross was met firmly by Sam Magri whose header was saved.
On 65 minutes the Hawks deservedly went ahead when good work by Kedwell saw Taylor unleash a thunderbolt on the turn from 20 yards.
Soon afterwards, Rutherford came on for Ayunga, closely followed by Christopher Paul for Wes Fogden.
Immediately, Paul broke free and a through ball to Kedwell saw his shot pushed away for a corner.
But against the run of play, and with three minutes on the clock, Barney Williams was allowed to break free and fire home a late equaliser.
Straight from the restart, though, Rutherford latched on to a pass, beat three defenders before shooting home on 90 minutes.
Yet it wasn’t the winner the Hawks deserved.
Deep into stoppage-time, Williams levelled again for the home side with a delicious free-kick.