The base Hawks are giving themselves to build from as 'massive' Chelmsford victory makes it successive wins at Westleigh Park for first time since October

Captain Joe Oastler hailed a 'massive' win as Hawks picked up all three points against Chelmsford in the National League South.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 6th March 2022, 1:16 pm
Joe Oastler, left, heads over to congratulate Stefan Payne after he doubled Hawks' advantage from the penalty spot Picture: Dave Haines
Joe Oastler, left, heads over to congratulate Stefan Payne after he doubled Hawks' advantage from the penalty spot Picture: Dave Haines

After a wretched run of results which had seen Hawks collect just two triumphs in 14 matches, they have now gone three games unbeaten having seen off Essex side Chelmsford.

They climbed a place to 12th in the table, just seven points off the play-off spots having played a game more than seventh-placed St Albans, and Oastler believes Hawks are giving themselves a platform to build from with 12 games still to play this term.

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Stefan Payne hugs his children after firing home a penalty Picture: Dave Haines)

‘(It was a) Massive win, we definitely wanted to back up the previous home win against Ebbsfleet, so it was important we got two wins on the trot.

‘We're taking it game by game at the moment, we're turning performances into results now, we've got to keep going game by game and we'll see where it takes us.

‘We don't want to say anything about bad luck because you earn your own luck in football, but we've had injury after injury and we've had performances where we'd have liked to have got something from (in recent bad run).

‘It wasn't all doom and gloom, some new players have come in and given us a freshness, we're a confident group now and hopefully we can use that and put on some more performances.’

Alex Wall heads off to celebrate after firing Hawks ahead Picture: Dave Haines

Substitute Wall - on as an 11th-minute replacement for Manny Duku following his nasty head injury - thundered home an indirect free-kick from near the penalty spot after goalkeeper Jacob Marsden slipped and was forced to pick up a back-pass in the area on 52 minutes.

Payne was then on hand to slot home from the spot with 20 minutes of normal time remaining after Sam Smart had been upended by Marsden before Tom Blackwell pulled a goal back for the visitors five minutes later.

Oastler insisted confidence within the camp never wavered despite such a struggle to pick up results in a tough recent run.

But he says the squad will not get too carried away having now collected seven points from a possible nine in their previous three National League South fixtures.

Alex Wall fires Hawks ahead in the win over Chelmsford Picture: Dave Haines

Oastler added: ‘We can't look too far ahead - I know it sounds boring - but we actually have got to take each week as it comes.

‘We've got six home games left here, we want to keep performing at home, keep being hard to beat away from home and getting the odd win.

‘We're upbeat, it wasn't the prettiest of performances (against Chelmsford), but four or five weeks ago we might have drew it or got beat. It's a massive win and one we should be proud of.’