Hawks: Gale frustrated by ‘rash decision’

Hawks assistant boss Shaun Gale, left, and manager Lee Bradbury. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160012-21)

Shaun Gale says the Hawks should have been given the chance to get their National League South game played on Saturday.

The Westleigh Park club intended to hold a 9am pitch inspection.

However, those plans were dashed by the National League on Friday when they postponed all games in the division.

Visitors East Thurrock United had appealed to league officials stating the travel conditions were dangerous and unacceptable.

Gale understands why the decision was taken but feels the league acted too quickly.

By the morning of the game, travel conditions had improved markedly in the south of England.

Gale is also convinced the Westleigh Park pitch was playable.

‘The frustrating thing is we could have played,’ he said.

‘Our pitch has been covered and we had an army of volunteers lined up to take the covers off.

‘Temperatures were rising all the time and with the thaw the pitch had a good give in it.

‘To have the league take it out of our hands was very frustrating.

‘I think they may have panicked a little bit which is a British mentality whenever we get any snow.

‘Some areas had it worse than us but I have been out every day.

‘You can travel but just have to be careful. The gritters do a great job in keeping the main roads open.

‘The safety of people travelling has to be first and foremost but I still feel it was a rash decision considering the forecast.

‘We showed in midweek that as a club we have the capability, manpower and community spirit to get games on.’

The Hawks beat freezing temperatures to entertain Gloucester City last Tuesday.

They were rewarded with a 2-1 win and three valuable points in their bid to overhaul leaders Dartford.

With momentum building, it was particularly frustrating to lose the chance of another three points against East Thurrock.

Gale believes the Hawks have a big chance to make it into the top tier of the National League.

He added: ‘Everyone at the football club wants it and we have got ourselves into an excellent position.

‘All the time it is in our own hands it is nice. At the same time, we are under no illusions as to how tough it will be.

‘We are determined to stay grounded because things can change very quickly.

‘The players have a winning mentality and they know they have to keep working hard to maintain it.

‘They showed that in beating Gloucester and that is why it is frustrating we didn’t get the chance to keep it going this weekend.

‘We just want to keep playing games.’

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