Hawks ‘have to start winning our home games’ – starting with crunch clash with fellow promotion hopefuls Weymouth

Hawks aim for a much-needed home victory tonight against fellow National League South promotion rivals Weymouth(7.45pm).

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 4:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 8:48 am
Jonah Ayunga returns to the Hawks starting XI tonight. Photo by Dave Haines.

Though Paul Doswell’s men are still unbeaten away from home, it’s been a different story at their Westleigh Park HQ.

Fourth-placed Hawks have only won five of their 12 home league games, and only five of the other 21 clubs in their division have picked up fewer home points than their 18.

They have lost their last two home matches - to Maidstone and Wealdstone - and tonight face a Weymouth side boasting a fine away record.

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The third-placed Terras have only lost twice in 14 league games on the road in 2019/20 - at Chippenham 1-0 in August and by the same score at Dorking on December 7.

Assistant manager Ian Baird accepts Hawks need to turn their fortunes around at home.

With four of their next five games at Westleigh Park, it is the perfect opportunity to set the record straight.

'We have to start winning our home games and definitely need to get a result against Weymouth,' said the former Fratton Park striker.

'It is fair to say that we have been going through a tricky period.

'We had a massive game against Wealdstone in our last home encounter and came unstuck.

'Away from home we have been fantastic, but for one reason or another have failed to match that at home.

'Our home form has let us down.

'One reason is that we haven't been ruthless enough and we have been banging that drum with the players.

'If you are ever going to win anything in this game, then you have to win your home games.'

Bedsente Gomis, who made his debut in last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Concord Rangers, is expected to make his first home appearance.

Wes Fogden is definitely ruled out by injury, but top scorer Jonah Ayunga - who returned from injury as a substitute at Concord - returns to the starting XI.

Hawks will hope he can deliver the goals after failing to score in their last two games - two 0-0 stalemates at lowly Chippenham and Concord.

Defender Sam Magri faces a fitness test but Craig Robson is fit again to take his place if he doesn't get through it.

Baird accepts it is another big night and a massive game for his side.

'Wednesday nights under the lights at Westleigh Park have been good for us,' he said.

'If we are to stand any chance of catching Wealdstone, we need a winning run at home.

'It is a big ask but the title certainly hasn't gone.'

Victory tonight will take Hawks back into second place - six points behind Wealdstone having played the same amount of matches.

Hawks host Dulwich Hamlet this coming weekend, before travelling to high-flying Slough on February 15.

A Westleigh Park encounter with St Albans on February 22 is followed four days later by the return clash with Slough.