Havant & Waterlooville bow out of National League with a whimper following defeat to Barnet

THE HAWKS departed the National League with a whimper after a disappointing 2-0 final-day defeat against Barnet at Westleigh Park.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 5:14 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th April 2019, 4:16 pm
Alfie Rutherford. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (020319-51)

After a goalless first half, the visitors struck the first blow three minutes into the second period.

Another Bees’ goal 20 minutes from time ensured the Hawks’ one-season National League stay ended in defeat.

The Hawks made four changes to their starting line-up.

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Alfie Rutherford missed a couple of chances in the Hawks' final-day defeat. Picture: Chris Moorhouse 020319-51)

Loanee goalkeeper Laurence Bilboe returned in place of Ben Dudzinski.

And Ed Harris, Mike Carter and Chris Paul were also recalled.

There was an early escape for Bilboe when his clearance bounced back off Jack Taylor.

The first chance fell to the Hawks after eight minutes.

But Alfie Rutherford sent a header wide from having met Ed Harris' cross.

Life was made difficult for both teams by the tricky, blustery wind blowing around the ground.

On 18 minutes, goalkeeper Bilboe saved well from Taylor after Barnet carved open the home defence.

Shaq Coulthirst sent a firmly struck shot straight at the Hawks' stopper as the visitors looked threatening.

Yet the hosts should have taken the lead soon after.

However Rutherford, in front of an open goal, was denied by Callum Reynold's last-ditch tackle.

Andreas Robinson then limped off 12 minutes before the break to be replaced by Joe Quigley.

It was an opening half that ended goalless and had a real end of season feel about it.

Seconds after the restart, Rutherford should have done better when he sent a tame close-range header straight at the goalkeeper.

The Bees stung the Hawks by taking the lead after 48 minutes.

Cheye ALEXANDER volleyed through the legs of Bilboe after a Coulthirst shot deflected into his path.

On 64 minutes home captain Rory Williams was led off holding his arm and replaced by Josh Huggins.

The visitors extended their lead 20 minutes from time when Jack BARHAM prodded the ball in at the far post.

It was a signal for a number of home fans to start heading for the exits as relegated Hawks suffered a final day defeat.