Hawks’ unbeaten run ended by ex-striker

Ed Harris missed a chance to get the Hawks back in the game at the start of the second half    Picture: Dave Haines
Ed Harris missed a chance to get the Hawks back in the game at the start of the second half Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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The Hawks’ 10-game unbeaten run came to an end in disappointing fashion with a 2-0 defeat at Maidenhead United.

Two first-half goals from ex-Hawk Richard Pacquette proved enough to seal the visitors’ fate and all-but end their outside play-off chances.

The Hawks fielded an unchanged line-up for a fourth consecutive game and started playing up the considerable sloping York Road pitch in bright sunshine.

Chris Arthur’s firmly-struck shot from outside the area was pushed over the bar by goalkeeper Billy Lumley after eight minutes.

Ex-Hawks Anfield hero Richard Pacquette scuffed a shot wide minutes later in response for the hosts.

It was a scruffy opening 15 minutes with both teams struggling to come to terms with the hard, bouncy pitch.

The Hawks had a lucky let-off on 19 minutes when David Pratt crashed a shot against the crossbar with Clark Masters well beaten.

Pacquette again smashed an effort over the top after a corner fell to him deep in the area.

The home side made the breakthrough on 29 minutes, though, when Leon Solomon’s superb cross from the right picked out Pacquette six yards out.

The unmarked forward made no mistake, easily guiding his header past Masters.

Steve Ramsey fired well wide from outside the box after being teed up by Arthur.

The visitors looked hesitant at the back and they paid the price again five minutes before the break.

A mix up between Grant and Arthur allowed Pratt to cross from the right and Pacquette rose to head in at the far post.

Palmer missed a golden opportunity at the end of the half, volleying over a gaping goal from four yards.

When keeper Lumley dropped a cross under pressure in the opening minute of the second period, Ed Harris hooked his shot over the unguarded goal.

The visitors soon made a double change, sending on Eddie Hutchinson and Scott Jones in place of Arthur and Kabba.

Pacquette smashed his free-kick straight into the defensive wall after Grant bowled Pratt over right on the edge of the area.

The Hawks began to pick up their tempo in a bid to get back into the game and Christian Nanetti’s driven free-kick was headed over his own bar by Rhys Ujah.

The away side were firmly on the front foot but the Maidenhead defence continued to hold firm.

Maidenhead were scenting a first win after seven consecutive defeats and looked determined to hold on.

Argentinian Juan Cruz Gotta made his Hawks debut, replacing Strugnell at the back for the final 11 minutes.

He almost made an impact sending a shot on the turn wide of the target from six yards in a crowded goalmouth.

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Maidenhead United: Lumley, Solomom, Behzadi, Brown, Paul, Ujah, Nisbet, Pook, Pratt, Pacquette, Tison-Lascaris. Subs: Pritchard, Flood, Tabiri, Gilbey, Tokarczyk.

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Grant, Ryan, Harris, Strugnell, Nanetti, Ramsey, Palmer, Kabba, Arthur. Subs: Hutchinson, Jones, Bossman, Gotta, Montero.

Referee: J Hillier (Watford).