Paul Doswell 'devastated' by Oxford City defeat as video emerges of Hawks boss in heated exchange with some disgruntled supporters following late capitulation

Hawks boss Paul Doswell is planning a 'long chat' with assistant manager Ian Baird following his side's late capitulation in their National League South defeat at Oxford City.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 3:26 pm
Substitute Paul Rooney's reaction to being forced off injured minutes after coming on at Oxford City sums up the downbeat feeling around the Hawks at present Picture: Kieron Louloudis
Substitute Paul Rooney's reaction to being forced off injured minutes after coming on at Oxford City sums up the downbeat feeling around the Hawks at present Picture: Kieron Louloudis

Doswell could only watch on as his men conceded three times in a dismal seven minute-spell towards the end of their 3-1 loss in Oxford.

It extended the Hawks' winless National League South run to six matches, with a video emerging on social media of Doswell in discussions with a handful of disgruntled travelling supporters in the immediate aftermath of the defeat.

The Hawks boss can be heard saying, ‘I'm not a magician,’ – among other things – in the short film - referencing the lengthy injury list he has to contend with across the current campaign.

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Hawks boss Paul Doswell was left devastated by defeat at Oxford City Picture: Dave Haines

He also highlights how – now in his third season as Hawks boss – the first two campaigns of his tenure had been cut short by the coronavirus pandemic as the grouping of supporters made their feelings known about a current dip in form.

After the short discussion with a section of fans behind the goal at Court Place Farm, midfielder Billy Clifford heads over in an attempt to calm the situation before Doswell, currently under contract with the club until the summer of 2024 after signing a three-year extension last year, eventually walks off.

Speaking to the club website in the wake of the Oxford City loss, the Hawks boss said: ‘I think me and Bairdy will have a long chat at the weekend. At this present moment in time, we've got to dig in as a team, but that is a devastating defeat and one we should all reflect on at the weekend.

‘You've only got to look at the goals we've conceded, our experienced players in the centre of midfield have given the ball away. We're being let down by experienced players at certain times of the game.’

Hawks' James Roberts suffered a defeat on his first return to former club Oxford City Picture: Kieron Louloudis

Things had started well for Hawks, who were winless in the league since a 2-1 victory at Eastbourne Borough on December 11, as Billy Clifford fired them ahead on 33 minutes direct from a corner.

Entering the final 10 minutes, the visitors were on course to make it a first National League South win in six attempts to provide them a much-welcome three points.

But former Hawks striker Joe Iaciofano drew Oxford City level on 84 minutes then George Harmon left the visitors shell-shocked as he fired his side ahead just three minutes later. An incredible ending was then complete with substitute Joe Ashby adding a third in the first minute of stoppage-time.

Doswell continued: ‘It's a devastating defeat, I think, in many ways. To be 1-0 up - you're looking at five points really - 1-0 up against Tonbridge (on Wednesday) with a minute-and-a-half to go, then we were 1-0 up at Oxford City with four minutes to go - you're looking at five points gone in five minutes.’

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