Home draw sends the Hawks down

The Hawks were relegated after they failed to deliver the win they needed against Weston-super-Mare this afternoon.

Saturday, 30th April 2016, 5:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th April 2016, 6:39 pm
James Hayyer opened the scoring for the Hawks Picture: Mick Young

Victory would have saved the Hawks as relegation rivals Margate lost, but in a disappointing second half they surrendered a first-half lead to the Seagulls as the game ended 1-1.

The home side made four changes to their starting line-up, including the return of captain Brian Stock after a two-match suspension.

At full-back, Harry Medway replaced Warren Cummings.

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Matt Paterson and James Hayter were recalled, with Scott Donnelly and Andy Robinson dropping to the substitutes’ bench.

A stretching Shamir Mullings narrowly failed to get on the end of a wicked Ben Swallow cross inside the first minute.

The home side were doing all the early pressing, and Swallow nearly threaded the ball through to Hayter in front of goal.

Mullings then almost latched on to a long clearance, but Seagulls goalkeeper Luke Purnell raced out of his area to head the ball away.

Swallow also flashed a half-volley wide when the ball dropped to him just outside the area.

The home side made the crucial breakthrough on 17 minutes, though, when dangerman Swallow crossed from the right and HAYTER cleverly guided his header past Purnell.

Josh Hill went close to extending the lead when he knocked the ball narrowly past the upright from a near post corner.

The home side remained in charge for the remainder of the half and the mood was buoyant as news came through that relegation rivals Margate were losing at Bath City.

Stock had a great chance at the start of the second period when he robbed a defender just outside the Seagulls area.

The midfielder, however, put his shot too close to Purnell.

There was a nervous moment in the home ranks when goalkeeper Ryan Young smashed a clearance against the back of team-mate Hill.

Fortunately for the home side, the ball dropped to the defender who was able to clear.

Scott Wilson wasted a good chance to level for the Seagulls on 68 minutes.

WILSON made no mistake five minutes later when he stabbed the ball in at the far post for the equaliser. It was a disaster for the Hawks who were back in the relegation spot.

The hosts were now fighting for survival, needing another goal to stay up.

Desperation was creeping in as the home side started to run out of time and the ball wouldn’t fall for them as their hopes of staying in the division disappeared.

Also in National League South, Gosport Borough signed of their league season with a 5-2 home defeated to relegated Hayes & Yeading.

Club legend Justin Bennett scored on his farewell to Privett Park.