Hawks boss Lee Bradbury praised Sahr Kabba and Scott Bevan after the duo helped beat Basingstoke 1-0 in the FA Trophy replay at Westleigh Park.
Kabba’s early wonder goal separated the teams, as Bevan’s second-half heroics ensured Basingstoke were denied an equaliser.
Bradbury said: ‘It was backs to the wall in the final 20 minutes.
‘We kept our shape and made it hard for them to break us down.
‘The goal was a superb effort from Kabba and then we worked hard to keep our advantage.
‘Scott Bevan pulled off a series of terrific saves, one of which was world class.’
Hawks started the replay in impressive fashion.
Scott Jones sent an early header straight at Basingstoke keeper Louis Wells, from a Christian Nanetti cross.
Nanetti was next to threaten but hammered his shot over the crossbar.
Hawks were rewarded for their bright start with the opening goal on 11 minutes.
Kabba received the ball on the edge of the area.
The diminutive striker danced past three defenders before sliding the ball under the keeper into the net.
Basingstoke tried to respond but Simon Dunn’s effort flew over the bar.
On 24 minutes, Nigel Atangana should have extended the Hawks lead.
The ball dropped to him in the box but the midfielder smashed his effort wide.
Shortly before half-time, Basingstoke’s Robbie Matthews lined up a free-kick.
The striker managed to get the ball past the defensive wall, only to see it disappear over the top of the stand.
Hawks were looking comfortable but with only one goal the visitors were still in the tie.
Early in the second half, Jones limped off and was replaced by Jesse Kewley-Graham.
Atangana put Nanetti into a good position but he played the ball behind Perry Ryan and the chance was lost.
Basingstoke began to take charge of possession as the Hawks failed to pick out their passes.
Suddenly, the hosts were under the cosh.
Neil Barrett diverted a near-post corner narrowly wide.
Bevan then came to Hawks rescue with a superb save.
Former Hawks striker Manny Williams tapped a free-kick to Wes Daly.
His shot was arrowing into the top corner until the keeper tipped the ball onto the crossbar.
Seconds later, Bevan turned Barrett’s shot over.
When the Hawks made a rare break, Kabba smashed his effort wide of the target.
Bevan was increasingly busy but proved unbeatable.
Ryan Woodford and Steve Ramsey came on for Hawks to replace forwards Nanetti and Kabba.
The hosts were then able to close out victory and book a trip to Whitehawk in the second round.
HAWKS: Bevan, Newton, Ciardini, Ryan, Harris, Monteiro, Nanetti, Atangana, Oli, Kabba, Jones. Subs: Strugnell, Woodford, Kewley-Graham, Ramsey, Hutchinson.