Hawks' survival hopes dented
The Hawks slipped deeper into National League South relegation trouble with a damaging 1-0 defeat against Chelmsford City at Westleigh Park.
Lee Bradbury’s men are now just two places and one point above the drop zone after failing to take their chances in an end-to-end encounter.
The Hawks boss, though, believes his players will deliver safety with four games left to play and called for togetherness, hard work and a more ruthless streak to achieve their goal.
Bradbury said: ‘I don’t think we got what we deserved because for the majority of the game we were the better team.
‘You have to take your chances when you are on top and we didn’t do that.
‘How we have not scored I don’t know.
‘I was unhappy with the goal we conceded and Chelmsford made it hard for us once they scored.
‘To be fair they put their bodies on the line and their goalkeeper made a number of good saves.
‘Every single one of our players gave their all and I couldn’t fault their application.
‘We have got four games left and it is important that we stick together.
‘It is important that we keep working hard but at the same time must be more ruthless in the final third.
‘I am more than confident that the players can keep us up.’
The Hawks started brightly and Ben Swallow forced a full-length diving save from Christian Dibble.
Matt Paterson then fired across the face of goal as the home side totally dominated the opening 15 minutes.
There was a good tempo to the game and having weathered the early storm the Essex visitors launched some threatening attacks of their own.
On 25 minutes goalkeeper Ryan Young came to the Hawks’ rescue, denying Jack Bridge with a low one-handed save.
Young was in action again blocking a shot from Sandro Semedo and clutching the rebound on the goalline.
The home side’s early superiority had evaporated and the visitors were looking increasingly dangerous.
Brian Stock then picked up his 10th booking of the season which is likely to rule him out of the last two games of the season.
Chelmsford hit the Hawks with a sucker punch on the stroke of half- time to take the lead.
A deep cross was headed back across goal where Reece Prestedge stooped to head in from close-range.
The first chance of the second half fell to Semedo but he blazed wide from a good position inside the area.
Chelmsford continued to look the more likely to score with the home side struggling to find any continuity.
On 62 minutes the Hawks made a double change sending on Nic Ciardini and Shamir Mullings for George Barker and Harry Medway.
The Hawks started to show a greater sense of urgency but a series of crosses failed to fall for them in the area.
Goalkeeper Dibble beat out a fierce Mullings shot as the Hawks racked up the pressure but Chelmsford’s defence stood firm to inflict a damaging defeat on the hosts.
Hawks: Young, Molyneaux, Medway, Stock, Robinson, Hill, Swallow, Donnelly, Paterson, Hayter, Barker. Subs: Mullings, Mitchell, Cummings, Lewis, Ciardini