Havant & Waterlooville
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)
The goal came after an even start to the second period as a corner worked it’s way into his path at the back post after the visitors hit the woodwork seconds earlier.
The Hawks had their moments in the game and frustratingly had the opportunities to equalise but again it is back to the drawing board after another frustrating afternoon.
Gaffer Lee Bradbury handed two debuts to loan signings Alex Bradley, who joins on loan from West Brom and Will Wood from Accrington Stanley, both signing will stay with the Hawks until January.
The Hawks had the first opportunity of the game 3 minutes in as Alfie Pavey, fresh from his appearance with the England ‘C’ team where he netted the winner played the ball into Nicke Kabamba who chested the ball into the 23-year-old’s path and as he struck his effort it would clip the near post, wide of goal.
Five minutes later it was Kabamba’s go to chance his luck as he breaks free of the Heed defence before getting on the end of Tarbuck’s ball into him before the physical tussle he endured with the Hawks striker being shown a tight angle and under the challenge of his man and it would be told as he couldn’t get the power he wanted on his effort as it trickled wide of goal.
Just after the quarter hour mark and the Hawks would get another bite at the cherry in a first half where they would come up with the chances as Brian Stock whipped a delightful free kick into the path of Andreas Robinson who’s glancing header requires Ainsley Pears to make a good save in the Gateshead goal.
We would then have to wait the best part of 20 minutes for the next piece of action in the game and when it came it would fall to the home side as loan signing Will Wood had a free kick from the best part of 25 yards out, curling his effort towards the top right-hand corner but was saved again by Pears.
However, just minutes later the Hawks had their hearts in mouths as an awkward ball fell kindly to Boden with Dudzinski coming out to get the initial touch before rushing back to his goalmouth with Jordan Rose doing well to protect the Hawks keeper knocking Boden’s ball out for a corner before finding the path of Rigg.
The final chance of an impressive first half from a Havant point of view fell to Lee Bradbury’s side as good build up play saw the ball fall into the path of Andreas Robinson, who wriggled free of the oncoming Greg Olley and went for an effort which went an inch wide of the target.
Both sides came out the traps flying and it would be the visitors with the first chance of the second period as Jack Hunter went for goal from the best part of 25 yards out with a testing effort, however much to Dudzinski and the Hawks’ relief the effort headed a foot over the crossbar.
At the other end, the Hawks may have felt they should have taken the lead when Will Wood launched an immaculate ball into the path of Alfie Pavey, who’s outstretched boot couldn’t get on the end of the ball and if so, one felt the deadlock would have been broken there and then.
Seconds after that chance Bradley Tarbuck did well to carve an opportunity out of nothing as sprinted from the half way to the edge of the area down the left flank before having a go on goal requiring Pears to pull off a good save.
However, Gateshead would come forward with a flurry that would ultimately see them take the lead, the visitors initially hit the post when good play saw Mellish play in Rigg who hit the post before the ball went out for a corner.
And from the resulting set piece Rigg would tap home from the back post from a matter of yards out to give the visitors the lead.
The Hawks responded well and had an opportunity just after the hour mark as Brian Stock floated a free kick into the penalty area towards the path of Jordan Rose who couldn’t steer his effort on target as the Hawks were in search of an equaliser.
Straight from that set piece, Lee Bradbury would make his first change of the game as Alex Bradley was replaced by Ibra Sekajja as the Hawks looked to unlock the Heed defence who were becoming more stubborn as the game went on.
Ten minutes later, Nicke Kabamba went for goal down the right on the edge of the penalty area but his effort would be straight at Pears in the Gateshead goal.
With just under 20 minutes to play Ben Dudzinski pulled off another fabulous save as his fine run of late continued with the forward thinking Boden finding space before unleashing a fierce curling effort which required the Hawks keeper to get up to the top right and get his fingertips to the ball.
And as the game ebbed into its final quarter, the Hawks advanced goalwards once more with Tarbuck playing the ball across to Pavey who can only poke the ball just wide of the target.
With 5 minutes remaining the Hawks had what would prove to be their final chance of the game as a free kick into the area is headed on by Kabamba who knocked the ball just wide of goal.
Another game with the feeling of what might have been for the Hawks as Lee Bradbury’s side fall to defeat once more.
Following the game, the gaffer spoke about how key it is for everyone to keep positive and keep at their jobs as we look ahead to our FA Cup tie with Metropolitan Police next Saturday, kick-off 3pm at Imber Court.
Hawks XI: 21 Dudzinski, 4 Stock (c), 9 Pavey, 10 Kabamba, 11 Tarbuck, 16. A.Robinson, 17 Rose, 19 Wood (Cosgrave 65'), 23 P.Robinson (Woodford 75'), 25 Cordner, 26 Bradley (Sekajja 60')