THE HAWKS must use the momentum gained from the emphatic 3-0 win over Thurrock to propel them up the Blue Square Bet South table, says boss Shaun Gale.
Wes Fogden grabbed a brace and Ryan Woodford notched his third goal of the season to give the Hawks a well-deserved win at Westleigh Park on Saturday.
Gale, who has come under pressure from some quarters recently, was delighted and relieved at the same time.
‘We have come under fire, and quite rightly so, and this is a much-needed win,’ said Gale.
‘It’s not rocket science to see that we have had a poor start to the season.
‘We will keep believing in what we have here and, without getting too carried away, use it as a springboard.
‘It is important that we take this result and move forward.
‘We won in good fashion and could have won it by a few more.
‘The players applied themselves in the right manner and, even though we didn’t get an early breakthrough, remained patient and didn’t let it get to them.’
It took the Hawks until three minutes before the half-time interval to make the vital breakthrough.
The instigator was the impressive Sammy Igoe, the former Pompey midfielder, who ran the show all afternoon for the Hawks.
His precision passing and pin-point deliveries left Thurrock chasing shadows.
On 42 minutes, he picked up a loose clearing header 30 yards out and threaded an incisive ball through to Fogden inside the area.
Fogden, faced by a defender, cleverly pulled the ball back onto his left foot before curling a terrific shot in off the far post.
Two minutes after the break, Igoe drilled a corner from the right into the box and Woodford thumped home a close-range header.
A week ago the Hawks threw away a two-goal lead against Sutton, and though they had a let off when Thurrock hit the post, they never looked like repeating their indiscretion.
Five minutes from time, Fogden sealed the win with a fierce shot which was deflected over the goalkeeper.
Igoe was denied a deserved goal at the death when his effort from the edge of the area was tipped on to the crossbar by the goalkeeper.
‘We passed the ball well against opponents who were no mugs,’ said Gale.
‘They probably had more experience than us in their team.
‘The goal before half-time got us up and running and, for a change, it was us that came out of the blocks at the start of the second half.
‘I am pleased for everyone involved because it is hard work.
‘That should give us a lot of confidence and we should be able to move on from it.
‘I don’t like to single anyone out because we win and lose as a team but Sammy Igoe has been there and done it all.
‘His deliveries were fantastic and he was unlucky at the end not to score himself.
‘It was a pleasing three points.’
The Hawks will find out who their FA Cup opponents are today as the draw is made for the second qualifying round of the competition.
Hawks: Beazely 7; Newton 7, Arthur 8, Ryan 8, McDonald 7 (Pearce 52mins – 7), Woodford 8, Fogden 9 (Okus 87mins), Barrett 7, Peacock 7 (Jones 81mins), Igoe 9, Braham-Barrett 7.