Hawks manager Shaun Gale accepts his side will find themselves facing a relegation dogfight if they don’t start winning football matches – starting with tonight’s visit of Dorchester Town to Westleigh Park (7.45pm).
With just three wins from their opening 13 league games, the Hawks find themselves just one place and three points above the drop zone.
Gale has major defensive problems, with his side conceding 25 goals already this season, with another three coming in the draw at Hampton & Richmond Borough at the weekend.
Stemming the flow has so far proved impossible, with a series of individual mistakes costing the Hawks dear.
It is frustrating for Gale because his team have shown themselves capable of doing the business at the attacking end of the pitch.
Gale’s latest attempt to solve the problem sees the introduction of new 6ft 4in central-defender Cedric Ngakam into the squad on a non-contract basis.
Ngakam recently impressed in a trial game and has been training at Gillingham while appearing for Aveley in the Ryman Premier League.
‘We need nothing less than a win from this game and the home game against Farnborough on Saturday,’ said Gale
‘They are a massive two games for us.
‘Our current situation is a big test for the management team and players.
‘We need to restore our confidence and self belief with some wins.
‘It is frustrating because we have dropped 14 points this season after getting ourselves into a winning position.
‘We don’t want to end up finding ourselves in a relegation scrap.
‘The players are capable of turning things around – we just have to start defending properly.
‘At the moment, it is nowhere near good enough.’
The Hawks know they can score goals, and at Hampton & Richmond the new strike partnership of youngsters Ollie Palmer and Scott Jones showed huge promise.
Both got on the scoresheet, with Palmer notching his third in as many games, and proved a handful for the home defence.
They are likely to continue but Gale may freshen his side up in other areas.
Lee Peacock is struggling with a hamstring problem, which could mean a recall for Steve Ramsey, and the arrival of Ngakam also gives him another option at the back.
‘Cedric is a big, strong left-footed central defender,’ said Gale.
‘But I haven’t been able to see a lot of him apart from his appearance in the trial game.
‘It may be that I can freshen up the side a bit in one or two areas.
‘It is vital that we start doing the horrible nitty gritty side of the game.
‘If we don’t, we are going to find ourselves in a position we don’t want to be in.’
Hawks: Beazely, Newton, Holland, Woodford, McDonald, Ryan, Hinshelwood, Ramsey, Igoe, Braham-Barrett, Jones, Palmer, Peacock, Ngakam, Whyte, Pericard, Pearce.