Bishops' Stortford 1 v 0 Hawks
Bishops' Stortford 1 v 0 Hawks
Bishops` Stortford sunk the Hawks with a single second half goal at Woodside Park this afternoon, consigning the side to their third defeat in five away games. The visitors were also forced to suffer their second sending off in a week when Jamie Collins was dismissed 30 minutes in with ex-Hawk Jordan Fowler for fighting.
But the dismissals made little difference to the game, and 17 year old Southend United striker Charles Ademeno sewed it up for the hosts in the 76th minute when his charging run took him through the Hawks defence for an angled shot back across Shane Gore.
The Hawks made a less ambitious opening than of late, settling into the game rather than rushing attacks in the hope of forcing an early goal. Chances came from a Brett Poate corner and a free kick nodded on by Tom Jordan, but debut making Stortford keeper Chris Wright ably claimed both.
Ashley Fuller managed a soft shot from the left that brought Hawks keeper Gore into the game with an easy save, but when Richard Howell picked out Jack Midson in a similar spot on the wing, Midson`s cutting cross would easily have been sent home by Fowler had he not been lagging some way behind.
The visitors adopted a patient approach, but attempts to pass the ball through the Stortford defence on the right failed every time. The hosts meanwhile attacked almost exclusively from their left wing. Midson and Fuller had the pace to break away with the long midfield balls they received, but the side couldn`t get players forward to meet their crosses.
30 minutes in both sides suffered an unnecessary blow when Collins and Fowler were sent off after the linesman spotted the pair fighting on the far side of the pitch. Play resumed from a free kick elsewhere and Tom Jordan did well to turn back Luke Byles`s long ball for Baptiste to head wide.
The Hawks then raced forward again, but guilty of wanting one pass too many, Baptiste could only set Poate at an awkward angle for a shot stubbed into the ground. Seconds later Baptiste and Pacquette found themselves passing the ball like a hot potato on the edge of the six yard box, but agonisingly neither could get a shot away.
Bishops` Stortford 0
Havant and Waterlooville 0
Both sides made a sluggish start to the second period but a glut of set piece opportunities brought the Hawks closer to scoring 10 minutes in.
Gregory earned a free kick far on the left, swung in nicely to miss everyone and rebound off the back post. Two corners followed, and Jordan rose at the back of the pack to head the second into Wright as he dived on his line.
Tony Taggart replaced Harkin just past the hour, bringing some dancing footwork to the right wing, but Baptiste by then was too slow to keep up, and the still injured striker was replaced by Craig Watkins in the 77th minute.
The Blues could have taken the lead 72 minutes in when nippy substitute Charles Ademeno got a lucky break in the centre of the pitch. He dragged the ball left as he barrelled into the box, trying to force Gore to commit, but the keeper stood strong and Ademeno fired onto the post.
But the young striker, also making his Stortford debut, made no mistake on a surefooted second run four minutes later that took him diagonally through the Hawks defence for a nicely angled shot that flicked back across Gore from the edge of the box.
From the point they scored, the hosts tried to slow the game down; even choosing to touch a well placed free kick toward the corner flag instead of trying to secure the game. Max Porter though nearly sealed the win when his edge of the box strike in the 90th minute lifted inches over the bar.
Chasing the game again, the Hawks made what they could of the final minutes. An exasperated Phil Warner tore up the right several times, combining with Taggart to work the ball into the box, but the strike partnership of Watkins and Pacquette never looked likely to score. The closest chance eventually came from Warner himself, whose long shot from the right wing in injury time was claimed by Wright before it could reach Watkins.
By Rich Self