‘It was an important win, an excellent win’ – early injuries can’t stop Hawks jumping up into the National League South play-off zone

Paul Doswell reflected on an ‘excellent’ win as Hawks jumped into the National League South play-off places last night.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 9:06 am
Joe Oastler celebrates Hawks' win at Tonbridge last night. Picture: Lily Moore.

A first half goal from James Roberts saw a depleted squad record a 1-0 win at Tonbridge Angels to move into seventh place.

Remarkably, Hawks - already down to the bare bones - suffered two early injuries during their fourth away league win of the campaign.

Centre half Jamie Collins was replaced by Paul Rooney in the first 10 minutes after picking up a hamstring injury, and Scott Rendell went off with a rib injury shortly after.

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James Roberts gets a cross in at Tonbridge last night. Picture: Lily Moore.

‘It was an excellent win, a backs to the wall win,’ said Doswell.

‘In the first half we created three or four good chances and the finish from Robbo was fantastic. Will Mannion didn’t really have a save to make.

‘In the second half we sat deeper but we didn’t concede a chance until the 93rd minute when Will’s made a fantastic save.’

Hawks are now only five points behind leaders Dartford, with a game in hand.

James Roberts fires in a shot at Tonbridge last night. Picture: Lily Moore.

‘We’re back in the play-offs which is where we want to be,’ said Doswell. ‘The plan was always to get to Christmas and be up and around there.’

The Hawks boss was sent to the stands just before half-time after Joe Newton - who came on for Rendell - was hit in the face by a Tonbridge opponent.

Doswell was first booked for stepping onto the pitch, and then shown a second yellow for arguing with the Tonbridge player who had hit Newton.

‘Joe got smashed in the face - it’s a straight red,’ he stated.

Josh Passley (left) and Joe Newton attempt to block a cross at Tonbridge last night. Picture: Lily Moore.

‘The standard of officiating … I’ve had a gutful of it. It’s the same week in, week out.

‘I still feel bitter about Tommy Wright’s red card (against Slough last month).’

Doswell added: ‘This was an important win (at Tonbridge). There could have been a downer after the Charlton game and the effort everyone put in. You do worry a bit, but everyone put in a shift.

‘Paul Rooney had probably his best game in a Havant shirt.’

Billy Clifford returned to the starting XI after missing the Charlton game through suspension, while midfielder Theo Widdrington – recalled from a loan spell at Gosport Borough – came off the bench late on.

Loanee Leon Chambers-Parillon was named as a sub but Doswell said parent club Oxford United ideally didn’t want him to play. ‘We did it so we didn’t look Mickey Mouse,’ said the boss.

Hawks were able to name five subs at Tonbridge, which was one more than they had named at Charlton.

Wright is available again after his three-game ban for this weekend’s home game with Maidstone.