Wright start, wrong result for Hawks

Hawks striker Ben Wright Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Hawks striker Ben Wright Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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The Hawks’ Vanarama Conference South play-off ambitions suffered a setback as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Concord Rangers last night.

Ben Wright gave the visitors an early lead but the home side hit back to level before the break.

Two second-half goals put the Essex side in charge, before Scott Donnelly set up a tense finish with a goal four minutes from time

The defeat leaves fourth-placed Hawks looking anxiously over their shoulder as Concord move to within four points, with a game in hand.

Boss Lee Bradbury was left frustrated by events at Thames Road Stadium.

He said: ‘It was a frustrating evening for us and a disappointing result.

‘We started really well got an early goal and were in the ascendancy.

‘They got an equaliser before half-time and then we were caught out by two unfortunate bits of play in the second half.

‘Their second goal resulted from a wicked deflection off a defender and Warren Cummings got caught for their third goal.’

The Hawks named an unchanged squad following their impressive 2-0 win over Ebbsfleet at the weekend.

And the visitors made the best possible start taking the lead through striker Wright after only eight minutes.

A swift counter-attack down the left saw Ben Swallow play in Bradley Bubb who squared for Wright to sweep home.

The home side, however, hit back to grab a well-deserved equaliser in the 26th minute.

The visitors managed to stem a good Concord raid with a block inside the area but couldn’t get the ball clear.

Taylor Miles cut the ball back into the path of Lewis Taafe who made no mistake firing his shot inside the post.

The Hawks replaced Bubb with JJ Hooper at the start of the second half.

The Hawks fell behind in the 59th minute when Taafe grabbed his second goal of the game.

A Steve Cawley cross deflected high off a visiting defender and Taafe volleyed home a difficult chance at the far post.

Any chance of a Hawks fightback was extinquished in the 70th minute when Concord struck for their third goal.

Taylor Miles robbed a Hawks defender, flicked the ball past him and hammered in a terrific left-foot volley from the edge of the area.

A goal four minutes from time rekindled Hawks hopes and set up a tense finale.

The home side allowed Donnelly far too much space and he rifled his shot into the top corner – his fourth goal in three games.

Bradbury’s side pushed for an equaliser during the five minutes of added time but couldn’t grab a share of the spoils.

The Hawks boss is expecting the play-off race to go down to the wire.

He added: ‘I thought we stood up to the way Concord play trying to get under your skin and stayed calm and collective.

‘It is a tough place to come because Concord always work hard and make it difficult.

‘In the final 10 minutes they were hanging on and we could easily have got something from the game.

‘It looks very much as though the play-off places will go to the wire again with eight teams in with a chance.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Cummings, Stock, Dutton, Harris, Swallow, Donnelly, Wright, Bubb, Huggins

Subs: Woodford, Blanchett, Hooper, Awford, Ciardini