Pedestrian Hawks rescued by Williams

Manny Williams came to the Hawks' rescue at St Albans
Manny Williams came to the Hawks' rescue at St Albans
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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The Hawks came away from a meaningless end-of-season affair at St Albans City with a 1-1 draw courtesy of a Manny Williams equaliser midway through the second half.

With the hosts already relegated and the Hawks marooned in mid-table, it was always going to be a pedestrian affair – and so it proved.

With nothing to play for, both teams went through the motions and the result was a poor, low-key match.

Hawks manager Shaun Gale admitted he was happy to come away with a share of the spoils but had anticipated more.

‘We expected to come here and win,’ said Gale.

‘Both teams had only pride and professionalism to play for and had to do it on the worst pitch possible.

‘The ground was rock hard and rutted, which made it difficult to play our passing game.

‘One of our failings this season has been the inability to adapt and change our game when necessary.

‘In the first half we looked like a team with nothing to play for and that was disappointing.

‘We failed to do ourselves justice and conceded a soft goal.

‘In the second half we got ourselves back into it and equalised with a decent goal.

‘The players put in another good shift on a very hot afternoon, though.’

Despite making a positive start, with Wes Fogden posing the home defence problems down the left flank and Liam Sewell winning plenty of ball in the air, the visitors failed to make it count.

Their final ball often let them down and it was the home side who made the 35th-minute breakthrough, with the unmarked Adam Everitt heading home a long ball into the area.

The game continued to have the feel of a training ground exercise and the young Hawks strike partnership of Sewell and Bobby Scott could make little impression.

By the hour mark, Gale had reverted to his more experienced strikers of Williams, Guiseppe Sole and Mustafa Tiryaki and this saw some improvement.

The Hawks eventually dragged themselves level in the 66th minute after Jake Newton’s forceful run down the right yielded a corner.

Ian Selley’s flag-kick was punched to the edge of the box, where Williams crashed home a powerful volley into the left-hand corner of the goal.

Nathan Ashmore pulled off a couple of good saves to enable the Hawks to hang on to their point, although Fogden missed a great chance five yards out at the far post.

Hawks: Ashmore, Newton, Hinshelwood, Selley, Tyrrell, Simpemba, Fogden, Ramsey (Sole 45), Sewell (Tiryaki 60), Cashman, Scott (Williams 60).