Paul Doswell critical of officials as Hawks come through FA Cup contest with National League South rivals Billericay

Paul Doswell criticised the officials over the awarding of three key decisions in Hawks' FA Cup triumph over National League South rivals Billericay at Westleigh Park yesterday.

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 2:38 pm
Hawks boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Dave Haines

Doswell was less than impressed with referee Marc Whalley's decision to award a foul which led to Darren Foxley's free-kick opener for the Essex side, the awarding of a penalty for Billericay's second goal – which was initially given as a free-kick before Whalley consulted his linesman – and Scott Rendell being flagged offside after netting which would have put the hosts 4-1 in front.

And the Hawks boss felt the final scoreline was not a fair reflection of how much his men dominated the FA Cup contest as they moved to within a win of the FA Cup first round proper for the second season in succession.

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Doswell said: ‘At 3-0 we were happy with that. I think the referee and linesman have a huge part to play in that (Billericay’s two goals).

‘It was a cheap free-kick for the first one (Billericay goal), which they score from. The linesman on our side is telling us he’s told the referee it’s not a foul in his opinion (for the penalty) but once he’s given the foul it is inside the box so the referee sticks with his own decision.

‘The worst call of all is the fourth goal. Scott Rendell is probably five yards behind James Roberts when he strikes the ball - I’m just disappointed with that because it didn’t reflect the game at all. I thought we played some good football.

‘First half, against the wind and the rain, we dominated in tough conditions and created seven or eight good, good chances. We played some good football, kept it on the ground - which is important in the wind.

‘It doesn’t really matter whether it’s seven or eight, 7-1 or 3-2 you’ve just got to get through. We got through comfortably, let’s not make it anymore than that.’

Hawks await tomorrow’s draw to see who’ll they’ll meet for the right to reach the first round proper for the second successive season.

Doswell says coming through the fourth round qualifying tie would tick off a target they set out to achieve at the beginning of the season.

He added: ‘That’s the aim of the football club, if you like, it’s can you get in the top seven to have a go at the play-offs and promotion and can you get to the first round of the FA Cup. We don’t really target anything other than those two things.

‘We’ve guaranteed eight or nine grand here today - until you get beat you don’t pick up the losers’ cheque. From our point of view it was important to get those extra few thousands for the club.

‘From the players’ point of view, it gets them a round closer to playing a Pompey, Sunderland or an Ipswich. That’s the beauty of this competition, you don’t often get the opportunity to pit your wits against Football League teams.’