Lee Bradbury faces his biggest test yet as Hawks manager after his side slumped to a third successive Vanarama National League South defeat.
The Hawks boss insists, however, that he isn’t going to press the panic button.
League-leaders Ebbsfleet United proved far too good for the home side as they cruised to a 4-1 win at Westleigh Park.
The Hawks didn’t play badly in spells but the visitors possessed far too much quality when it counted.
The defeat, the hosts’ sixth in 11 games, leaves them 15th in the league and already 17 points adrift of Ebbsfleet at the top.
With a tricky FA Cup tie at Southern League Larkhall Athletic to come, Bradbury faces an important week.
In the first half we caused them a few problems before their first goal put us on the back foot a little bitLee Bradbury
He accepts his team needs to be a lot better.
‘We shot ourselves in the foot a bit by conceding a couple of bad goals,’ said Bradbury.
‘In the first half we caused them a few problems before their first goal put us on the back foot a little bit.
‘After the break they scored a couple more which from our point of view were very poor.
‘Having said that I think we have seen the champions out there because they are a very good side.
‘To be honest, I can’t see any other team in the league pushing them.
‘We matched them for spells but couldn’t maintain it for the whole 90 minutes.
‘At half-time I told the players I wanted more of the same but to pass the ball better in the final third.
‘But we faded in the last 15 minutes and they ended up easy winners in the end.’
After a bright start, the Hawks were caught out in the 21st minute when the unmarked Matt Godden headed in at the far post.
Home goalkeeper Ryan Young claimed he was blocked but the goal was allowed to stand.
On 58 minutes the home side lost possession in their own half and three quick passes later Jordan Parkes knocked the ball under Young from close range.
The game was up eight minutes later when the home defence failed to react when Young blocked a Parkes shot and Godden netted the rebound.
Matt Paterson had grafted all afternoon up front for the Hawks and he got his reward with an excellent individual goal five minutes from time.
Ebbsfleet emphasised their quality though, with a goal from substitute Danny Haynes in the final minute.
‘We have to stop giving away poor goals,’ added Bradbury.
‘In spells we have played well but now it is time to roll our sleeves up and stand up to be counted.
‘Where we are in the league is disappointing and not where we want to be.’
Hawks: Young, Medway (Blanchett, 46), Cummings, Stock, Strugnell, Monthe, Boco, Donnelly, Paterson, Morgan (Swallow, 72), Mullings (Hayter, 60). Subs not used: Clifton, Azeez