‘Hawks must win all remaining games to have play-off hope’

Ed Harris. Picture: Dave Haines
Ed Harris. Picture: Dave Haines
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LEE BRADBURY admitted the Hawks need to win all their remaining games if they are to make the Blue Square Bet South play-offs.

A 2-0 defeat to Maidenhead has left them with an uphill battle.

Former Hawks star Richard Pacquette bagged a double for the York Road side.

His two headed goals ended the visitors’ 10-game unbeaten run.

And he could easily have had a hat-trick as he proved a menace to the Hawks defence all afternoon.

Bradbury felt the home side approached the game better than his men – who now need another fine run of form to finish the season.

‘We will have to win all our remaining games to stand any chance of reaching the play-offs,’ said Bradbury.

‘We have done great up until now but for the first 45 minutes on Saturday we looked a little bit off the pace.

‘To be fair to Maidenhead they worked really hard, were the better side in the first half, and put us on the back foot.

‘Maidenhead made it difficult for us and it was a frustrating day.

‘In the second half, we were better but didn’t take the chances that came along.’

The Hawks started brightly enough, with Chris Arthur having a fierce shot turned over the bar by goalkeeper Billy Lumley.

It was the home side who grabbed the initiative, however, with two goals in the final 15 minutes of the half.

Leon Solomon whipped in a delicious pin-point cross from the right for the unmarked Pacquette to head home from eight yards.

Then, four minutes before the break, a mix-up in the Hawks defence led to the home side’s second goal.

Arthur and Alex Grant hesitated after goalkeeper Clark Masters threw the ball out, allowing David Pratt to send in a deep cross.

It was Pacquette again who rose at the far post to score with a downward header.

The Hawks had chances, both before and after the interval, to get back into the game.

But Ollie Palmer and Ed Harris were guilty of poor misses.

‘We probably had the best two chances of the game but missed them,’ said Bradbury.

‘The most disappointing thing for me was the fact we didn’t match Maidenhead’s work-rate and energy.

‘I tried to change things, and though we had a better go in the second half, it was too little, too late.

‘The pitch didn’t help and forced us to play a bit more direct than we normally would.’

It was a below-par display from Bradbury’s men, in contrast to their performances in recent weeks.

The defeat leaves the Hawks seven points adrift of the play-offs with just four games left to play.

With three of the teams above them – Boreham Wood, Eastleigh and Chelmsford – having games in hand, the odds of them making it are long.

But Bradbury’s men will keep fighting and hope to get back to the form that saw them unbeaten for so long.

Hawks: Masters 7, Newton 7, Strugnell 6 (Cruz Gotta 79mins, 7), Harris 7, Grant 6, Ryan 6, Nanetti 7, Ramsey 6, Palmer 6, Kabba 6 (Jones 55mins, 6), Arthur 6 (Hutchinson 55mins, 7)