From Concord Rangers to Rotherham - reunited at Pompey

Team-mates Oliver Hawkins, right, and Jamal Lowe, background, played together at Hemel Hempstead
Team-mates Oliver Hawkins, right, and Jamal Lowe, background, played together at Hemel Hempstead
Matt Mayes has joined Gosport Borough on loan from Pompey Academy. Picture: Colin Farmery

Borough sign Pompey Academy trio

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OLIVER HAWKINS and Jamal Lowe suffered defeat against Concord Rangers in National League South.

It would be one year, 10 months and 10 days before next matched on the same side.

This time it was a 1-0 loss – in League One to Rotherham.

It’s a Fratton Park reunion for the one-time Hemel Hempstead colleagues eager to make their mark in the Football League.

Lowe made the step up from Hampton & Richmond in January, responding with four goals in 14 appearances as the Blues claimed the League Two title.

Of course, his two goals as a substitute at Notts County had earlier clinched promotion for Paul Cook’s side.

Yet during the 2015-16 season, the Barnet forward spent 11 matches on loan at Hemel Hempstead, encountering Hawkins.

Lowe’s final outing before returning to the Bees was in October 2015, with the visit of Concord.

Playing alongside Hawkins in attack, the fixture produced a 2-1 defeat for the hosts, who had the disadvantage of seeing out the final 60 minutes with 10-men.

The dismissal of Ed Oshodi proved crucial, ensuring Lowe departed on a losing note.

Hawkins himself remained at Vauxhall Road for only another two-and-a-half months before the Football League came calling.

In January 2016, he was snapped up by League Two strugglers Dagenham & Redbridge for an undisclosed fee.

It turned out Hawkins’ final Hemel Hempstead appearance would be a 2-0 victory over Lee Bradbury’s Hawks.

The National League South fixture also marked the return of Pompey’s Jack Whatmough following knee ligament damage.

Sent on loan to the Hawks for precious game time, the defender appeared from the bench for 15 minutes.

Incidentally, earlier that season, in October 2015, Hawkins was a member of the Hemel Hempstead side which won 6-2 at Gosport.

By that stage Lowe had departed, with ex-Hawks striker Jamie Slabber bagging a hat-trick against Alex Pike’s side.

Still, Sunday staged the reunion for Hawkins and Lowe as team-mates, played in front of a television audience.

However, it would end a disappointing day for all concerned, with a 1-0 defeat to Rotherham.

– NEIL ALLEN