Gale is flummoxed as Jekyll & Hyde Hawks stumble

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Hawks’ defensive woes continued as they fought out a 3-3 draw with Hampton & Richmond Borough at the Beveree in the Blue Square South.

Shaun Gale’s side were 2-0 up and cruising at the break but in a disastrous 11 minutes at the start of the second half the Beavers hauled themselves level.

Though Ollie Pamer restored the Hawks’ lead soon after, they continued to live dangerously.

The Beavers had a goal ruled out by a marginal offside decision and Hawks goalkeeper Lyall Beazely saved a penalty.

Deep into stoppage-time, however, the Beavers struck again for a deserved equaliser, leaving Gale once again bemoaning poor defending.

‘We showed how good we can be in the first half and how embarrassingly poor we can be defensively in the second half,’ said the boss.

‘It’s been the story of our season and once again we haven’t struggled to score goals.

‘We could have scored four or five in the first half but unless we can defend better we won’t win football matches.

‘People are doing things I just can’t believe and we are committing hari-kari.

‘The game should have been over.

‘We just gifted it to them and it is embarrassing.

‘Unfortunately it has become a bad habit and I am scratching my head.

‘It doesn’t seem to matter who I play there, the same mistakes keep being made.

‘We know we don’t have a major problem going forward but we have serious problems defending.

‘As soon as teams get about us we go under and cave in.

‘When they scored you could see the confidence drain out of our team.’

Gale’s decision to play striker Lee Peacock in midfield and start with youngsters Scott Jones and Palmer in attack looked to have paid dividends as the Hawks dominated the opening 45 minutes.

Peacock’s deflected free-kick after just four minutes gave the Hawks a perfect start.

Jones then knocked in a rebound from a Palmer shot after 31 minutes.

But the start of the second half left Gale exasperated.

‘For their first goal we have allowed their lad to run 60 yards and toe-poke his shot in,’ he said.

‘Their second goal was shocking with defenders going to ground far too easily.

‘No-one takes responsibility and all pass the buck.

‘As a football club, at this moment in time, one or two are hanging us.’

Palmer put the Hawks back in front, with his third goal in three games, sending a back-header from Jon McDonald’s long throw into the bottom corner.

Beazely produced a good penalty save after Ryan Woodford brought down JJ O’Donnell and the Hawks were left desperately hanging on.

At the death, a clearance rebounded off the referee to give the home side possession and Dave Tarpey fired home the equaliser.

‘It should have been three points but the same thing is happening week in, week out,’ said Gale.

Hawks: Beazely 7; Newton 6, McDonald 6 (Ramsey 69mins – 6), Ryan 7, Holland 6, Woodford 6, Braham-Barrett 7, Peacock 7 (Hinshelwood 69mins – 6), Jones 8, Igoe 6, Palmer 8 (Pericard 79mins).

Att: 475.