Recalling Hawks’ greatest victories in their FA Trophy history

Hawks are this weekend aiming to reach the last 32 of the FA Trophy.

Friday, 18th December 2020, 2:17 pm
Luke Nightingale celebrates after scoring a penalty for Hawks in their FA Trophy win over higher division Crawley in 2008. Pic: Dave Haines.

Paul Doswell’s side were hosting fellow National League South club Braintree Town behind closed doors at Westleigh Park.

The Trophy is the leading cup competition for non-league clubs, culminating in a Wembley final, and Hawks have only reached the last 32 twice since 2008/09.

Since being formed in 1998, the club have twice reached the last four, in 2002/03 and 2013/14.

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Steven Walker celebrates with Luke Nightingale after the former's penalty against Crawley in 2008. Pic: Dave Haines

On both occasions they were drawn against a club from their own division - Tamworth and Gosport respectively - but both times lost in the two-legged semi-finals.

Here, The News takes a trip down memory lane to recall some of Hawks’ greatest Trophy victories ...


Forest Green 1 Hawks 2

Paul Booth about to score Hawks' FA Trophy replay winner against higher division Lewes in 2008/09. Pic: Dave Haines. © Dave Haines You must carry a byline to the pictures

In only their fifth ever Trophy campaign, Hawks reached the semi-finals.

In the last eight, they travelled to Conference National club Forest Green Rovers and produced a stunning victory.

Hawks fell behind after only 10 minutes at The Lawn to a Neil Grayson goal.

The lower division visitors levelled just after the hour mark when Paul Wood bundled home James Taylor’s chip on the line.

Perry Ryan, Dennis Oli and Ed Harris celebrate a goal during Hawks' 4-1 FA Trophy win over higher division Aldershot in 2014. Pic: Dave Haines.

In the 75th minute, Tim Hambley collected a long goal kick from Aaron Kerr before scoring.

In the last four Hawks were drawn against their Southern League Premier rivals Tamworth.

The Staffordshire club - who went on to win the title by a 13-point margin with Hawks finishing eighth - won the two legged semi-final 2-1 on aggregate.


Hawks players celebrate after beating Aldershot 4-1 in the FA Trophy in 2014. Pic: Dave Haines

Lewes 3 Hawks 3

Hawks 4 Lewes 3

Paul Booth was the scourge of his former club as Hawks dumped Conference National club

Lewes out of the Trophy.

In a second round tie at The Dripping Pan, Hawks trailed 3-1, a Luke Nightingale penalty having levelled matters on the stroke of half-time.

But Ian Simpemba grabbed a second for Shaun Gale’s side and sub Booth - who had joined Hawks from Lewes the previous summer - struck an 87th minute leveller.

In the Westleigh Park replay, Matt Gray’s early effort was quickly cancelled out before Steve Ramsey and Simpemba netted in the space of three minutes to put Hawks into a 3-1 lead.

Lewes stormed back to level before Booth grabbed a 77th minute winner.


Hawks 2 Crawley 0

Booth’s winner against Lewes gave Hawks a home tie in the third round with another Sussex club from the Conference National, Crawley Town.

And for the second time that season, Hawks dumped Steve Evans’ side out of a major cup competition.

The previous October Ian Simpemba had netted twice against his former club as Hawks won 3-0 at the Broadfield Stadium in an FA Cup qualifier.

This time, Craig Watkins fired Hawks into a half-time lead before Luke Nightingale converted an 83rd minute spot-kick.

That sent Hawks through to the quarter finals, where they lost 2-0 at York City.


Hawks 4 Aldershot 1

Hawks stormed into their second Trophy semi-final after hammering Conference National side Aldershot.

The tie turned when Jordan Roberts - previously a Hawks loanee - was sent off for lashing out at Perry Ryan just before half-time with the score still goalless.

Two minutes after the break Dennis Oli put Hawks ahead when he headed in a Ryan corner, and Lee Bradbury’s men were on their way to the last four.

Nigel Atangana doubled the advantage just four minutes later when he seized upon a poor clearance and fired past keeper Glen Morris.

Second half sub Alek Przespolewski made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute and three minutes after that Nic Ciardini inflicted further misery on a club who the previous season had been playing in the EFL.

Brett Williams grabbed a late consolation penalty.

Hawks went on to lose 3-1 on aggregate to south Hampshire rivals Gosport Borough in the semi-final.


Hawks 5 Weymouth 0

Three early goals helped Hawks record their joint-best Trophy victory in this first qualifying round replay.

Ben Wright netted on 13 and 18 minutes before Brian Stock - currently managing the Terras - made it 3-0 on 21 minutes.

Scott Donnelly and Ben Swallow added further goals in the second half.


Hawks 2 Forest Green Rovers 0

Two second half goals gave Hawks a first round victory against a club that was to finish runners-up in the top tier of non-league football a few months later.

Scott Donnelly opened the scoring with a 66th minute penalty and James Hayter - who had come on for Matt Paterson - sealed the victory two minutes from time.


Hawks 2 Welling United 1

For the second round running, Hawks knocked out Conference National opposition at Westleigh Park.

But while Forest Green were to finish second in the table, the Wings would be relegated in bottom spot.

Josh Hill’s 11th minute opener for the hosts was quickly cancelled out, setting the stage for Shamir Mullings to bag a 64th minute winner.

That put Hawks through to the last 16, but there they were beaten 3-0 by eventual finalists Grimsby Town.


Hawks 5 Billericay 0

Jason Prior struck a second half hat-trick as Hawks equalled their highest-ever Trophy victory.

Ben Swallow netted the only goal in the first half of the second qualifying round tie before Prior grabbed his first just before the hour mark.

He went on to complete his treble with two penalties on 71 and 75 minutes.

Sub Marley Ridge completed the nap hand rout five minutes after coming on for Theo Lewis.