Gale heralds ‘magnificent’ Hawks after draw

Hawks striker Ollie Palmer. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks striker Ollie Palmer. Picture: Dave Haines
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It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t fancy.

But it was a vital point as the Hawks battled to a 0-0 draw at fellow Blue Square Bet South strugglers Bromley.

Ollie Palmer had a gilt-edged chance to snatch a crucial win for the visitors in the final five minutes.

But the striker fired over from a good position – leaving Hawks boss Shaun Gale with mixed emotions.

‘The boys were magnificent from start to finish and, on another day, we could have come away with all three points,’ said Gale.

‘Crucially, though, we got a clean sheet and a vital point.

‘It was important we stopped the rot and every point between now and the end of the season is vital.

‘We defended magnificently, making the blocks and the tackles that we needed to.

‘If we’d taken a couple of chances it could have been a win, but it was massively important not to lose.’

The Hawks named an unchanged starting line-up from their 3-1 defeat at Dartford.

And they almost made an early breakthrough from a sixth-minute Steve Ramsey free-kick.

Ramsey delivered a pinpoint ball into the six-yard area where Joe Dolan sent an instinctive half volley past the far upright.

After a hesitant start, the home side began to find their feet and put the Hawks under pressure.

Visiting keeper Dan Thomas made a superb save when he beat the ball away from Michael Malcolm who raced clear into the area.

Perry Ryan didn’t help the Hawks’ cause by giving the ball away on a number of occasions.

Scott Jones should have done better when he headed wide of the target from a good position after another Ramsey free-kick.

With both teams lacking confidence, not surprisingly it was proving a tight, jittery affair.

Both sides struggled to create any clear-cut chances and were unable to find the final ball.

Ramsey’s free-kicks were causing the most problems and another slanting effort from the left was hooked away from in front of goal before the half ended.

The first period had been very ordinary and the second continued in the same fashion, although, Christian Nanetti did force a low save from Joe Welch in the opening minutes after the break.

Sam Pearce was booked for body-checking Malcolm as he surged towards the area, with the game continuing to be a poor affair.

Hawks keeper Thomas came to their rescue on two occasions with excellent saves. First, he denied Malcolm who was clean through, and soon afterwards he went full length to push away Pierre Joseph-Dubois’ fierce drive.

It was looking increasingly as though a single goal would decide the affair, with both teams nervous about making a mistake.

Increasingly, the Hawks fought a rearguard action, looking to hit Bromley on the break, but neither side could find a way through.

Bromley: Welch, Henriques, Patterson, Fuseini, Sobers, Harwood, Joseph-Dubois, Jones M, Malcolm, Thomas, Jarrett. Subs: Taylor, Rhule, Ibrahima, Williams, Araba.

Hawks: Thomas, Newton, Arthur, Ryan, Dolan, Pearce, Hutchinson, Ramsey, Jones S, Palmer, Nanetti. Subs: Woodford, Igoe, Thompson, Beazley, Hinshelwood.

Referee: Mr R Hyde