THE HAWKS missed out on the chance to return to the top of the Ryman Premier as they lost 3-0 against Dulwich Hamlet.
Though the Hawks controlled long spells boss Lee Bradbury admitted his men came up short with the quality of their play.
They remain two points behind leaders Bognor but no longer have a game in hand on their Sussex rivals.
Bradbury said: ‘We needed a little bit more quality at times in what was an even game.
‘Though we had a lot of ball and dictated the play at times we were not effective enough. Dulwich punished us for that, plus we gifted them their second goal.
‘They only had four shots on target all night and scored with three of them. It is disappointing because we wanted to make the most of our game in hand on Bognor.’
In a positive start by the visitors, Wes Fogden brought an early save out of home goalkeeper Preston Edwards.
The first real chance fell to the Hawks after 15 minutes when Bradley Tarbuck’s low cross was diverted over from close-range by Jason Prior.
It was the visitors, however, who found themselves trailing in the 21st minute after being caught out by a Dulwich counter-attack.
Dipo Akinyemi picked the ball up just inside the Hawks half and ran at the retreating defenders.
He was allowed to reach the Hawks area where he sent a shot wide of Ryan Young in the visitors goal and into the bottom corner of the net.
As the interval approached, Edwards had to be alert to fall on a low Rory Williams cross with two on-rushing Hawks forwards in close attention.
Theo Lewis sent a volley half a yard wide of the target with the Hawks pushing for an equaliser.
Though the Hawks continued to have plenty of possession at the start of the second half they couldn’t make it count. The well-organised Dulwich defence stood firm and proved impossible to break down.
On 74 minutes the Hawks fell further behind following a poor pass by Fogden in midfield.
The former Pompey man sent the ball straight to Ibra Sekajja who immediately picked out Demebi Dumaka.
Young had little chance as the substitute scored with a glorious finish.
It was a hammer blow for the Hawks who had controlled the second half.
Nyron Clunis completed the Hawks misery with a third goal for the hosts in the last minute.
HAWKS: Young, Woodford, Harris, Robinson, Williams, Stock, Lewis, Fogden, Tarbuck, Prior, Paterson. Subs: Molyneaux, Swallow, Carter, Barker, Hayter.
n In the Wessex Premier, Fareham Town slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Alresford Town.
And AFC Portchester have added the ex-Winchester City and Petersfield Town manager Ian Saunders to their management team for the rest of the season.