'Shocking' defending is slammed as Hawks are dealt a blow by leaders Wealdstone in National League South title race
Paul Doswell slammed the Hawks' 'shocking' defending in the 4-2 defeat against leaders Wealdstone in their crucial National League South clash at Westleigh Park.
The home side led twice but gifted the table-toppers three second half goals.
It was a disappointing second successive home defeat for the Hawks.
Defensively the home side were slow, ponderous and error-prone.
Doswell admitted the Hawks were yet again guilty of shooting themselves in the foot in front of their own fans.
‘When you get yourselves into a winning position like we did twice in the game, what you can't do is gift opportunities to your opponent,’ said Doswell.
‘Unfortunately, that is just what we did.
‘Our poor defending killed us.
‘We committed individual errors at crucial times.
‘There is no way we can sugar-coat our defending, which was shocking.
‘You can't do some of the stuff we did and expect to get anything out of the game.
‘Their second equaliser came from a free-kick that we should have cleared and we failed to track the run of their player.
‘The goal that put them in front was a calamity.
‘Ahead of that, we had already given them two chances which they wasted.
‘They weren't going to miss a third.
‘Their fourth goal was the icing on the cake for them, but by then we were chasing the game.’
The home side couldn't have wished for a better start with the recalled Dean Beckwith heading home after four minutes.
Wealdstone gradually grew more into the game and equalised midway through the half when Michee Efete thumped a header into the top corner of the net.
Danny Kedwell put the home side back in the driving seat within two minutes of the restart.
Again, it came from a set-piece with the striker heading in an Andy Drury free-kick.
After that, the home side went into kamikaze mode at the back to throw away their advantage.
On 58 minutes, they failed to deal with a low free-kick into the area and Moses Emmanuel drilled his low shot into the net.
Twice in a minute Emmanuel wasted glorious chances gifted to him by the home side.
However, he wasn't going to miss a third time after Simon Walton lost possession in his own half.
Danny Green's close-range goal nine minutes from time sealed the Hawks' fate.
‘I didn't think that they were any better than us as a team,’ said Doswell.
‘It was just that their big players turned up more than ours did.
‘There are still 18 games left but it is how we react now to this defeat that is important.
‘We have three tough away games now at Dulwich Hamlet, Chippenham Town and Billericay.
‘This is where we will find out a lot about our squad.’
The defeat sees Wealdstone open up an 11-point lead on the Hawks, who have three games in hand on them.