Lee Bradbury demanded a reaction from his players and he got it with a confident 3-1 Skrill South win at Maidenhead United.
It was the Hawks’ first away triumph of the season and could not have come at a better time.
Sahr Kabba scored with two clinical strikes before substitute Steve Ramsey sealed the win from the penalty spot midway through the second half.
The FA Cup exit at the hands of Gloucester City in midweek left everyone at the club feeling pretty glum.
But the three points and the manner in which they were achieved provided just the pick-me-up Bradbury and his squad needed.
‘The lads were great on Saturday,’ said the delighted boss.
‘They came here and dealt with Maidenhead physically, worked hard and played our passing football.
‘We showed good character, fight and worked hard for each other off the ball.
‘It was a lot better and I have always said to the players we are a good footballing team.
‘We have got good individuals in the side and if we believe in ourselves we can do well.
‘Hopefully this is a positive step and we can move on up from here.
‘One swallow does not make a summer, though, and we have to keep at it.’
With Bradbury’s demands ringing in their ears the Hawks were quickly into their stride and took a deserved lead midway through the first half.
Kabba left his defender for dead with a blistering turn of pace and when he reached the edge of the area smashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
The joy was shortlived, however, as the Magpies hit back to level just six minutes later.
Goalkeeper Scott Bevan – back after a six-match absence due to a hand injury – allowed a low shot to bounce out off his chest and Michael Malcolm slid in the rebound.
Having seen their side ship 13 goals in their last five games, the Hawks fans feared the worst.
But Pedro Monteiro, nicknamed Pele, marshalled the defence superbly to prevent any further damage.
‘Pele is a footballing centre-half who knows the game inside out,’ said Bradbury.
‘His calmness and composure was crucial to us.
‘The lad is strong and uses his body well and has been around at Premiership level.’
The Hawks grabbed the initiative quickly after the break with another clinical Kabba strike on 48 minutes.
Substitute Scott Jones nicked the ball on the halfway line, burst to the edge of the area and squared the ball for Kabba to hammer past keeper Matt Pegler.
‘Kabbs is really benefiting from having Dennis Oli – an experienced targetman – who knows the game alongside him,’ said Bradbury.
Another substitute Ramsey sealed the win from the penalty spot after he had been bundled over close to the byline.
After that the Hawks never looked like loosening their hold on the three points – with some solid defending to keep the home side at bay.
‘We had decent experience running through the spine of the side and that made a difference on Saturday,’ added Bradbury.
HAWKS: Bevan, Newton, Blanchett, Kewley-Graham, Monteiro, Woodford, Nanetti (Ramsey, 35mins), Ryan , Oli, Kabba (Bird, 75mins), Ciardini (Jones, 45mins). Sub not used: Strugnell, Fitzsimons. Att: 307