Hawks held by battling Boreham

Hawks defender Dan Blanchett Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks defender Dan Blanchett Picture: Dave Haines
Craig McAllister. Picture: Keith Woodland

Pike sees positives amid Borough’s misfortune

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Hawks boss Lee Bradbury called on his players to ‘remain patient’ after their Skrill South play-off hopes were dented by Boreham Wood last night.

The hosts let slip a rare Dan Blanchett goal to draw 1-1 at Westleigh Park, but remain in fifth place – two points clear of Dover with a game in hand.

Bradbury said: ‘It was a tough game because they came here to frustrate us and hit us on the counter attack.

‘For us it was one of those evenings – we passed the ball around, had a lot of possession but didn’t threaten too much.

‘We have to remain patient, keep playing, and the opportunities will come.

‘It’s another point on the board and every one counts.

‘Now we have to try to just keep picking up the points.’

The Hawks suffered a blow before kick-off when French midfielder Nigel Atangana withdrew late on with a foot injury.

The home side drafted in Alek Przespolewski in his place as Bradbury made four changes to the starting line-up.

Jake Newton, Ed Harris and Aristide Bassele all returned to action.

The mid-table visitors threatened first, though, when an early counter-attack saw Mark Jones curl a low shot past the far post.

But when Boreham Wood attacked again, Hawks captain Ryan Woodford showed great composure to nip it in the bud.

The home side, who have kept a remarkable 19 clean sheets in the league this season, once again looked solid at the back.

And after a low-key start, they made the all-important breakthrough on 20 minutes, with Blanchett the unlikely scorer.

A Scott Donnelly corner was only half-cleared to the edge of the area and the loitering full-back sent a firm drive back through the crowded goalmouth and into the net.

Bassele had the ball in the net again for the Hawks just a minute later but celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

The visitors responded well, however, and levelled matters in the 34th minute.

Graeme Montgomery raced to the byline and whipped in a low cross which Ricky Shakes turned in at the near post.

The goal rocked the home side and almost immediately goalkeeper Benji Buchel was called upon to turn a fierce Lee Angol shot over the top.

Harris then made a superb goal-saving block on the stroke of half-time as the visitors opened up the Hawks defence with a lightning-quick break.

The home side made a change at the start of the second half, sending on Sahr Kabba for Oli.

Angol was proving lively up front for the visitors, and showed his strength again with a powerful shot just over the top.

Play-off chasing Hawks were certainly having to remain alert at the back against the quick-moving visiting forwards.

Przespolewski then had a chance to restore their lead but he sliced his effort wide of goal.

The hosts introduced joint-leading goalscorer Nic Ciardini for the final 15 minutes in a bid to snatch the win.

In the end, though, the Hawks had to settle for a point from a performance that lacked their usual vitality and energy.

HAWKS: Buchel, Newton, Blanchett, Ryan, Woodford, Harris, Nanetti, Przespolewski, Oli, Donnelly, Bassele. Subs: Jones, Ciardini, Strugnell, Hutchinson, Kabba