Hawks’ survival hopes hit by Stones

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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A disappointing Hawks slipped to a damaging 2-0 defeat against Maidstone United at a windswept Gallagher Stadium.

Two goals late in the first half left the visitors with a mountain to climb.

However, the Westleigh Park side rarely threatened to get back into the game.

The Hawks made one enforced change from the starting line-up that lost narrowly against Leyton Orient.

Ryan Woodford was drafted in for the injured Jack James.

In the visitors’ first meaningful attack, Wes Fogden hooked an early shot straight into the hands of keeper Chris Lewington.

At the other end, Embery cut in from the right and unleashed a drive that was deflected past the Hawks’ far post.

Playing against a strong wind, Lee Bradbury’s side came under more pressure – and Woodford had to make a brave last-ditch block to deny Elliott Romain inside the area.

On 18 minutes a ball over the top sent Blair Turgott clear, but his cross whistled across the face of the Hawks’ goal.

Maidstone then struck the first blow in the 32nd minute, after a through ball unlocked the visiting defence.

Embery timed his run perfectly and sent his shot curling into the far corner of the net.

Three minutes from the break the Stones extended their lead.

Jack Powell looked yards offside but was allowed to run through before coolly slotting his effort past the stranded Ben Dudzinski

There were few signs of improvement from the Hawks at the start of the second half.

However, Maidstone continued on the front foot, with the visitors posing little threat.

That prompted a double substitution from Bradbury just after the hour mark, with Matt Paterson and Chris Paul coming on.

Hawks hopes were raised when Alfie Rutherford rifled the ball into the roof of the net in the 71st minute – but the offside flag was up.

Turgott then slid past Jordan Rose and his cross was scrambled away at the near post.

In the last action of the match, Dudzinski saved from Turgott with his legs at the near post.