Hawks tumble into drop zone

Ollie Palmer had an effort cleared off the line at the end of the first half. Picture: Dave Haines
Ollie Palmer had an effort cleared off the line at the end of the first half. Picture: Dave Haines
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Stuart Ritchie’s problems mounted as the Hawks slid into the bottom three of the Blue Square Bet South table.

Another hugely-disappointing performance ended in a 3-0 defeat to Weston-super-Mare at Westleigh Park last night.

The final whistle was met with boos and chants as the home fans voiced their frustration.

Hawks boss Ritchie made four changes to the side dumped out of the FA Cup by Southern League outfit North Leigh on Saturday – but they failed to work the oracle.

Jake Newton, Christian Nanetti, Aaron Dawson and Perry Ryan all returned to the starting line-up.

Full-back Chris Arthur was ruled out by injury and centre-back Sam Pearce by suspension.

Striker Scott Jones almost gave the Hawks the early confidence boost they needed on 10 minutes.

But his effort from a tight angle hit the the post.

The Hawks threatened again when Ed Harris flicked on a corner but the ball was turned past the post from inside the six-yard area.

It was the Seagulls who broke the deadlock, though, with a fabulous strike on 20 minutes.

A long crossfield ball picked out Martyn Slocombe 35 yards from goal and close to the touch line. And the full-back hit a magnificent volley high into the far top corner of the net.

Stunned by the goal, the home side showed greater urgency and Ollie Palmer hammered an effort narrowly over the top.

Palmer and Hutchinson both had efforts cleared off the line after Tony Taggart crossed from the right but the hosts went into the break behind.

It took a desperate last-ditch block from Harris to prevent Weston extending their lead in the opening minutes of the second half.

Despite having the lion’s share of possession the home side struggled to create any clear-cut chances.

It soon became a scrappy affair with the Hawks lacking the invention to open up the visitors, who looked to hit the home side on the break. And the Hawks troubles deepened as they fell further behind 10 minutes from time.

When they failed to clear a corner, substitute Dale Grubb slotted a low shot into the far corner of the net.

Almost immediately, fellow substitute Nat Peperall increased the misery with a third visitors goal.

HAWKS: Masters, Newton, Ryan, Hutchinson, Harris, Page, Taggart, Dawson, Jones, Palmer, Nanetti. Subs: Woodford, Bailey, Kabba, Ramsey, Moss

WESTON-SUPER-MARE: Irish, Slocombe, Monks, Diallo, Parry, Laird, Stearn, Kirk, Hemmings, Trowbridge, Ingram. Subs: Pepperall, Grubb, Kington, McClaggon, McGregor

Referee: R Hyde (Brentwood)

Attendance: 460