THE HAWKS escaped with a 0-0 draw at Weymouth to earn a second crack at making progress in the FA Trophy.
The sides will clash again tomorrow in the replay at Westleigh Park (7.45pm) after the stalemate at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Keeper Lyall Beazley performed heroics, while Weymouth were also denied by the crossbar.
Beazley produced a magnificent one-handed save late on to thwart Weymouth striker Warren Byerley, who also hit the woodwork.
Hawks manager Shaun Gale admitted: ‘We rode our luck a bit in the second half.
‘It wasn’t a great performance and we could have done with having a little extra in the squad to change things but we couldn’t.
‘I thought we did okay first half in difficult windy conditions and were pretty much in control.
‘But in the second half, we weren’t at the races and couldn’t lift our game out of second gear.
‘The link play was poor and we struggled.
‘There was no rhythm to our game and players became frustrated, doing alien things.
‘We never worked their back four and didn’t create a lot.
‘Instead we just invited Weymouth onto us and it became a defending exercise from our point of view.
‘I am disappointed with the performance but we are still in the competition and that’s what counts.
‘Weymouth are a good side with some experienced players and it is never an easy place to come.’
The opening 45 minutes was poor but the home side should have taken the lead just before the break.
Yet Lee Tasker somehow put the ball wide of an open goal.
The second half belonged to the Terras as the Hawks struggled.
Forwards Ollie Palmer and Lee Peacock failed to hold the ball up and the home side took total control of the midfield.
The one chance the visitors had came when home keeper Tom Manley dropped a routine cross but Palmer’s half-hit attempt to turn the ball in was cleared off the line.
If that had gone in it would have been a smash and grab of epic proportions.
‘We have got another bite of the cherry,’ said Gale.
‘Now we have to make sure we finish the job but will need to show a big improvement if we are to do that.’
Hawks: Beazley 8; Hinshelwood 7, McDonald 7, Ryan 6, Holland 7, Pearce 7 (Woodford 65mins – 6), Igoe 6, Ramsey 6, Palmer 5, Peacock 4, Braham-Barrett 4 (Whyte 54mins – 6)