Ten-man Hawks claim thrilling home win against National League South promotion rivals Weymouth

Ten-man Hawks fought a superb second half rearguard action to earn a thrilling 3-2 National League South win against fellow promotion hopefuls Weymouth at Westleigh Park.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 12:01 am
Jonah Ayunga heads the winner against Weymouth. Photo by Dave Haines.

The hosts had Bedsente Gomis sent off on his home debut on the hour mark for his second bookable offence.

A breathless first half had ended 2-2 and on 58 minutes top scorer Jonah Ayunga put the Hawks in front.

It looked bleak for the hosts when they went down to ten men but superb defence earned them a vital three points in their bid to return to the National League at the first time of asking.

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New signing Bedsente Gomis prior to his sending off against Weymouth. Photo by Dave Haines.

Hawks boss Paul Doswell made two changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Concord Rangers.

Andy Drury and Ayunga replaced Bradley Tarbuck and Alfie Rutherford, who both dropped to the bench, while Gomis made his home debut.

The Hawks should have been ahead after just eleven seconds when Josh Taylor found himself clear inside the area.

With just the goalkeeper to beat, Taylor fired against the post from six yards.

Benny Read in action against Weymouth. Photo by Dave Haines.

In their first attack Weymouth's Josh Wakefield sent a 20-yard drive narrowly past the foot of the post.

Hawks made most of the running in the opening stages and they were rewarded on 14 minutes with the opening goal.

A harmless looking cross was allowed to reach Danny Kedwell at the far post and the striker made no mistake from close-range.

Four minutes later the Terras equalised with a stunning 25 yard strike by Shaun Hobson.

Simon Walton gets a foot in his face. Photo by Dave Haines

With the home defenders standing off him as he worked his way across the face of the area, Hobson unleashed a terrific looping shot high into the net.

On 34 minutes Abdoulie Baggie poked just wide as the Terras almost caught the hosts out with a quick counter-attack.

Five minutes from half-time Benny Read was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his arm to concede a penalty.

Worner saved Josh McQuoid's spot-kick but the Terras captain reacted quickest to slide in the rebound.

Danny Kedwell wins this header against Weymouth. Photo by Dave Haines.

A minute before the break Taylor put the Hawks back on level terms with a low shot into the far corner.

It was breathless end-to-end stuff as the half came to a close.

All the early pressure at the start off the second half was applied by the Hawks, and just before the hour mark they finally made it pay.

Read delivered a pin-point cross from the right and Ayunga powered in a close-range header.

Almost immediately the Hawks were reduced to ten men.

Gomis, who had been booked a few minutes earlier, picked up a second booking for using his arm in an aerial challenge.

Hawks keeper Ross Worner makes a point-blank save against Weymouth. Photo by Dave Haines.

The depleted Hawks found themselves pinned back and having to soak up a lot of pressure.

They did this superbly to deny the Terras any clear-cut chances.

Hawks: Worner, Read, Straker, Walton, Magri, Drury, Kedwell, Ayunga, Bailey, Taylor, Gomis. Substitutes: Dennett, Tarbuck, Robson, Paul, Rutherford.

Danny Kedwell has just put Hawks ahead against Weymouth. Photo by Dave Haines.