THE HAWKS suffered a cruel FA Cup exit with a stoppage-time goal sending them to a 2-1 fourth qualifying round defeat at Maidenhead United.
With the game entering the third minute of stoppage time Lee Bradbury’s side looked on course for a replay.
The defence, which had been superb all game, then switched off for a second allowing the Magpies to snatch a late winner.
It was so painful for the visitors who had more than matched their National League hosts all game.
After his side had worked so hard and had done so well it was a hammer blow for Hawks boss Bradbury.
He said: ‘It is unbelievable and we are gutted.
‘We were the better team, played the better football, created the better chances but ultimately ended up losing the game.
‘All game we had defended robustly against their long throws and diagonal balls into our box.
‘Then we switch off and get done by one straight ball.
‘It is disappointing because we worked so hard and deserved a replay at least.’
The Hawks took the game to the home side from the start.
When they fell behind in the 23rd minute it was totally against the run of play.
England C international Sam Barrett fired a low 25-yard shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Five minutes into the second half Jason Prior grabbed the equaliser.
Jordan Rose had an effort from a corner blocked and when Wes Fogden flicked the ball back in Prior volleyed in.
But it was Maidenhead who snatched the win to make progress.
‘Once we got the equaliser it gave us the belief we could go on and win the game,’ said Bradbury.
‘I can’t fault the effort and the application of my players.
‘It shows how far we have come as a team and at the same time shows we still have some way to go.
‘They only had three shots on goal all game and scored from two of them.
‘You cannot afford to switch off against teams from a higher level because if you do you get punished.
‘We have conceded a lot of late goals this season and it is hard to put the finger why that is. It is not good enough.’
Hawks: Young, Williams, Harris, Woodford, Rose, Lewis, Fogden, Carter (Strugnell 82), Tarbuck, Robinson, Prior
n Bognor had Calvin Davies sent off as they slipped out of the FA Cup 1-0 at Oxford City.
The Rocks fell behind on 32 minutes and the hosts missed a first-half penalty.
Davies was sent off 15 minutes before the end for a second bookable offence.
Despite pushing hard the Rocks couldn’t find an equaliser.