Hawks produce gutsy fightback as Borough extend unbeaten run with stalemate

Hawks midfielder Brian Stock   Picture: Allan Hutchings
Hawks midfielder Brian Stock Picture: Allan Hutchings
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The Hawks produced a gutsy second-half fightback to force a a 2-2 draw at Chelmsford City in the Vanarama National League South.

The game started 25 minutes late due to the Hawks’ team coach breaking down on the M25.

The Clarets took a grip on the game with two goals in as many minutes on the stroke of half-time.

City went ahead when Aiden Palmer pulled the ball back from the byline for Billy Bricknell to pick his spot.

A minute later the hosts doubled their lead when Hugo Skepelhorn was up-ended by Manny Monthe.

It was down to Lee Sawyer to calmly slot the ball past Ryan Young.

Lee Brabury’s side came fighting back in the second-half and found a way back into the game when Matt Paterson latched onto a long ball over the top and lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Lee Worgan.

And the visitors claimed a deserved point with a superb strike on 76 minutes when Brian Stock unleashed an unstoppable drive from outside the area to make the game square.

Elsewhere, Gosport Borough maintained their unbeaten start to the season in a very physical but goalless draw at home to a strong Maidstone United side.

The visitors had the best of the early chances, with Jay May coming close to pulling off a stunning opener on 15 minutes, unleashing a shot from distance that Nathan Ashmore needed to be at his best to turn over the bar.

Ashmore was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first-half, ensuring the two sides went into the break level.

The introduction of second-half substitute George Barker sparked life into the Gosport attack, though, as they looked the more likely side to break the deadlock.

Justin Bennett peeled off his marker and latched onto Williams’ cross from close range, but Worgan got down well to push the header away from danger.

Mike Carter then headed narrowly over the bar just past the hour mark, after rising highest at the far post from Barker’s free-kick.

As the home side pushed forward in search of the opening goal, Lee Wort and TJ Cuthbertson both had shots at goal that flew just wide in the final 15 minutes.

Gosport thought they had got the vital goal when Carter came desperately close to winning the game late on, crashing a strike against the Maidstone crossbar, with the goalkeeper Worgan well beaten.

AS it was, the two sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

In the Southern League central division, Petersfield Town slipped to another away-day defeat despite dominating large periods of the game against Chalfont St Peter.

After five minutes the Rams were the victims of a poor offside decision, when they had the ball in the back of the net.

Joe Briggs and Alek Przespolewski linked well to send Joe Richardson through, who lifted the ball over the Chalfont keeper Michael Power-Simpson.

Despite his run coming from at least five yards onside, the goal was inexplicably ruled out.

And it was the hosts who took the lead against the run of play when a long punt forward beat the Rams’ defence, allowing Anthony Mendy to beat the advancing Charlie Searle to the ball and roll it into the net.

The hosts then doubled their advantage, as Mendy turned provider – his flick-on met by Aaron Lansiquot, who fired the ball low past Searle.

However, the Rams got the goal their pressure deserved, when Przespolewski was left unmarked on the penalty spot to volley home from close range just before the break.

In the second-half Chalfont just seemed happy to play keep ball, frustrating Ian Saunders side.

The Rams nearly drew level deep into six minutes of added time, when Joe Briggs found himself in space, but his effort whistled past the post.

Bognor came from a goal behind to earn themselves a draw at home to Enfield Town. It took an Ollie Pearce goal after 88 minutes to give the Rocks a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere, in the FA Vase Fareham Town had a frustrating afternoon – losing 3-2 after extra-time after letting a 2-1 lead slip away to Verwood Town.

The Reds were leading thanks to goals from Simon Woods and Bradey Norton until three minutes from time, when Verwood pulled level.

A late goal into extra-time meant an early exit from the competition for Steve Stone’s side.

Also in the FA Vase, Horndean were part of a 4-4 thriller against Winterbourne Utd.

The game finished 3-3 after normal time, with the Deans bagging goals from Gary Austin, Nathan Kirby and Nathan Paxton.

Dave Carter’s side had debutant Dan Woodward to thank for keeping them in the competition, keeping his nerve to convert from the spot after 120 minutes of football.

In the Wessex League premier division, AFC Portchester romped home to a 5-2 win at Wicor Rec against Newport (IW).

A brace apiece for Alex Baldacchino and Ash Howes, with a goal from Josh Warren sandwiched in between, seeing the Royals’ strong start to the season continue.

Moneyfields battled to a 3-2 victory over Folland Sports thanks to goals from Steve Hutchings, Tyler Giddings and Conor Bailey.