Problems are mounting for Shaun Gale as the Hawks were dumped out of the FA Cup in a 3-2 defeat to Weston-super-Mare at the Woodspring Stadium.
Gale’s side should have come away with at least a replay but, once again, defensive mistakes proved their downfall.
Last week Sam Pearce’s error cost league points and this time it was fellow central-defender Chris Holland who made the fatal mistake.
With the two sides level at 2-2 early in the second half, the Hawks were starting to take a grip on the tie.
Unfortunately, the Seagulls broke out and Holland’s failure to deal with a routine through ball allowed the hosts to grab the decisive goal.
‘After starting the game well and getting a deserved early goal, we once again showed our failure to defend properly,’ said Gale.
‘We are not going to win football matches if we keep defending like that.
‘At the start of the second half we were on top and looked like we would go on and win the tie.
‘We had chances but then Weston go up the other end and we gift them another goal.
‘Once again, we’ve given a game up after getting ourselves into a good position.
‘It is unacceptable and all the time we keep doing it we aren’t going to win too many games.’
The Hawks made a dream start, taking a third-minute lead from the penalty spot.
The home keeper impeded Lee Peacock as he looked to latch onto a loose ball in the area.
Steve Ramsey smashed home his spot-kick to give the visitors the early impetus but by the half-hour mark the Hawks were behind.
On 18 minutes, the defence allowed the unmarked Jamie Price to score with a free-header at the back-post from a free-kick.
And the Hawks conceded again on 29 minutes, when Jake Newton was adjudged to have pulled Kane Ingram down inside the area and Nat Pepperall blasted home his spot-kick.
Ollie Palmer levelled for the Hawks on the stroke of half-time, netting his second goal in two games.
He fired home the rebound after the home keeper had clawed away a Peacock header.
The Hawks made a confident start to the second half.
Neil Barrett saw his header cleared off the line and the ball agonisingly dropped behind the onrushing Palmer when he looked certain to score.
But on 53 minutes, Mike Mackay and Holland challenged for a through ball.
Holland failed to deal with it and Mackay was left to roll the ball past the stranded Lyall Beazely for 3-2.
The Hawks laid seige to the Weston goal for much of the remainder of the tie, with Craig Braham-Barrett crashing a shot against the bar and Palmer forcing a good block from the keeper with a fierce angled drive.
But the Seagulls held on to end the Hawks’ FA Cup dreams for another year.
‘It is time to act because we can’t continue like this,’ said Gale.
‘Mistake after mistake after mistake is costing us dearly.
‘A fair result would have been a draw and I am massively frustrated.
‘You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that we are lacking characters and leaders in the side.
‘We need some voices out there, someone prepared to organise and keep players on their toes, making sure they are doing their jobs.
‘That is something that is hard to find but I need to go out and get a couple.
‘There were some excellent performances out there and that is why it is so frustrating.
‘If we were poor then I could accept it but we are not.
‘We are so close to being a decent side but one or two areas are letting us down.
‘Our failure to keep a clean sheet is our undoing and if we don’t sort it out it will be a long and difficult season.’
Hawks: Beazely 7; Newton 6 (Hinshelwood, 45mins – 7), McDonald 7 (Ryan, 70mins – 7), Ramsey 7, Holland 5, Woodford 7, Braham-Barrett 6, Barrett 6, Peacock 7 (Jones, 65mins – 7), Igoe 7, Palmer 7.