Hawks Maid to wait for first away win

Hawks striker Marvin Morgan   Picture: Allan Hutchings
Hawks striker Marvin Morgan Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Lee Bradbury was left disappointed that the Hawks came away from Maidstone United empty-handed after their 1-0 Vanarama National League South defeat.

Once the Hawks came to terms with the Gallagher Stadium 3G pitch they did more than enough to earn at least a draw.

The visitors, winless on their travels in the league, certainly created enough chances but not for the first time this season their strikers failed in front of goal.

Matt Paterson, Marvin Morgan and substitute Shamir Mullings were all guilty of missing gilt-edged chances.

‘We had long spells with the ball and created the better chances, said Bradbury.

‘On another day we could easily have come away with a 3-1 win.

‘We have to be far more ruthless and clinical in both boxes – Matt Paterson had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and we had other good opportunities.

‘In the second half we bossed the game and it has been like that in our last two games.

‘Finding ourselves behind at the break again we came out, rolled up our sleeves and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.

‘We have to display that mindset from the start and not just when we find ourselves chasing the game.’

The Hawks made the worst possible start to their first-ever competitive game on a 3G pitch, falling behind after only six minutes.

Home full-back Callum Driver skipped between Warren Cummings and Manny Monthe to deliver a low cross which was converted by Adam Birchall from close-range.

‘We switched off at a throw-in and it was naive defending on our part,’ said Bradbury.

‘After that they were content to sit in and counter-attack, making it difficult for us.

‘It took us half an hour to adjust to the pitch and we paid them far too much respect.

‘We didn’t get after them enough and that allowed them to use the conditions to pin us in for a little while.

‘Apart from the goal, though, we restricted them to shooting from distance.’

As the Hawks gradually came to terms with the pitch, they started to force openings of their own.

Paterson should have levelled when going clear but with goalkeeper Lee Worgan stranded in no-man’s land, he lobbed his shot the wrong side of the post.

Morgan hesitated when presented with a clear shot at goal and the chance was lost.

After the break, the visitors were much improved and their domination grew the longer the game went on.

For the final 15 minutes they put the home side under sustained pressure but couldn’t make it count.

Twice Mullings bore down on goal but failed to find the target.

When Worgan then flapped at a cross, Paterson’s goal-bound shot was deflected for a corner.

In the closing stages, defender Dan Blanchett drilled a low shot narrowly past the foot of the far post.

But despite laying siege to the home goal during six minutes of stoppage-time the Hawks were left still searching for a first away win of the season.

The result leaves Bradbury’s side in 14th place in the table, with 11 points from their opening nine National League South games this season.

Hawks: Young, Medway, Cummings (Blanchett, 61), Stock, Strugnell, Monthe, Hayter, Donnelly, Paterson, Morgan (Mullings, 61), Clifton. Att: 2,054.