Enter the Hawks Nest as we head onto our maiden National League voyage!!
Wes Fogden’s late strike was enough to earn the Hawks all 3 points at the Beveree Stadium in a game that seemed for the most part to end 0-0. Lee Bradbury shuffled the pack and gave starts to George Barker and James Hayter with Jason Prior being the lone man up top as the Hawks looked to avenge their defeat to Bath this time last week in what was a swealtering afternoon in Central London.
The Hawks would get the opening chance of the game as George Barker’s ball found James Hayter but could only steer the ball wide of the mark with the game 6 minutes old. Few minutes later Hampton had their opening chance as Malachi Napa’s effort went over.
Hawks would once more try and break the deadlock as George Barker plays the ball into Wes Fogden with his cross back into Barker illuded the ex Brighton man with Jason Prior trying to get a connection to the ball but ‘keeper Sam Howes got to the ball first to keep the scores level.
Towards the end of the first half the Hawks had goalkeeper Ryan Young to thank as he pulled of two magnificent saves to keep the Hawks level going into the break. The first a shot by Christian Jolley which Ryan Young kept his eyes on and the second in stoppage time as Brendan Kiernan at the back post found Duncan Culley but Young and the Hawks scrambled the ball away.
The second half got underway once more in the blazing heat. But no one was complaining as the beers were in full flow along with a few diet Coke’s for the kids in attendance.
But back to the game and it would take 15 minutes for it to ignite into life as Shaun McAuley for Hampton and Richmond scuffed his effort and should he have got a cleaner connection to the ball, odds were the home side would have taken the lead.
With the best part of 25 minutes to go the Hawks would have their first opportunity of the second half as Wes Fogden’s cross come shot hit the post. But Hampton would come again as Malachi Napa’s effort was saved by Ryan Young who once more became the Hawks’ game changing shot stopper. 5 minutes later the Beavers came close once more as Max Kretzchmar’s effort went wide of goal.
The final ten minutes would see the Hawks create the major chances with Matt Tubbs’ effort going wide. Then there was a long break in play as the referee went to ground with concern ringing around the stadium as the medical teams of both sides attended to Josh Smith with St. John's Ambulance on hand on the touch line. The ref thankfully got back to his feet and play co tuned with Smith in the middle.
And when the game looked as if 0-0 would be its conclusion Wes Fogden had ideas of his own as when the ball was given to him from a Mike Carter pass he unleashed a superb curling effort into the top right hand corner. Foggy as he is affectionately known scoring what one fan described as the “best Hawks goal ever!”