|Havant and Waterlooville||2-1||Braintree Town|
|Rutherford 55' 90+3'||Woodford (og) 77'|
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)
Lightning seemed to strike twice for the 20-year-old after scoring the winner in the reverse fixture at Cressing Road in August.
Rutherford gave the Hawks the lead ten minutes into the second half before Ryan Woodford nodded the ball into his own net, prior to a dramatic finish.
The result leaves the Hawks in 19thand three points above the bottom four, with the Hawks securing their fourth consecutive home win.
It was a changed back four for the Hawks against the Iron with Tyler Cordner, Paul Robinson and Rory Williams returning for a pivotal game at the bottom of the table.
On a wet surface, mixed with wind and rain, the elements made the first half difficult for both teams to play their football.
The first chance fell to the visitors 11 minutes into the game when a corner was played into the path of Barrington who from the best part of 15 yards out driven an effort which forced Dudzinski to get down low.
Quarter of an hour in and the Hawks had their first foray on goal when Rory Williams was allowed acres of space down the left-hand side before playing a teasing ball into the penalty area towards the path of Kabamba at the back post who couldn’t get a clean enough connection to the ball.
Minutes later, Braintree came the closest of any side to taking the lead in the opening period with Will Wood denying him on the line when Della Verde crossed the ball dangerously into the penalty area which was flicked goal bound but for Wood who knocked the ball away on the goal line.
Braintree enjoyed a decent spell of possession in the middle of the period, carving out a couple of opportunities, but nothing that would truly trouble Ben Dudzinski in the Hawks goal.
With just under a quarter of an hour left in the first half, the Hawks came forward once more in the hope of breaking the deadlock with Woodford doing well to pick out Kabamba, who in turn played the ball out to Jonah Ayunga and the Sutton loanee drove his effort from 18 yards out to the bottom left but would be met by Legg in the Braintree goal.
The Hawks’ final chance of the opening period fell to Will Wood, who from 25 yards out fired his effort over the bar.
The Hawks came back out the brighter of the two sides after the interval with Tarbuck playing a good ball into Alfie Rutherford who from 10 yards out nodded the ball just wide of the target.
Minutes later and Rutherford would break the deadlock for the Hawks after Woodford played a great ball over the top to Rutherford who beats the defence with ease before slotting the ball home from 12 yards out into the bottom left hand corner to give the Hawks the lead.
With the hour mark passing, Rutherford once more was causing trouble for the back line after darting forward with Ayunga for company, but the Braintree defence came back quickly with Rutherford’s cross into the number 9 being halted by the Iron defence.
Five minutes later the Hawks looked as if they would double our advantage when Williams plays a good ball along to Ryan Woodford, but Legg gets down well to thwart the effort.
As the game went into its last quarter of an hour the Hawks were hit with a suckerpunch with Ryan Woodford disconsolate as he slid the ball into his own net following a Lyle Della-Verde cross into the box.
With three minutes of normal time left to play the Hawks had a golden opportunity to re-establish their lead when as Tarbuck down the right hand side flashes a brilliant ball across the face of the goal towards Rutherford, who couldn’t get the poke required to knock it goal bound.
In an inevitable conclusion to a game between these two sides, the drama came at the death as Braintree should have won the game in the first minute of stoppage time when Wabo from the best part of six yards out with an open goal at his mercy lashes his effort wide of goal.
And in the games dying seconds, the Hawks knicked the points when Bradley played the ball into Will Wood, who plays a delightful ball into Alfie Rutherford who from two yards out nodded the ball into the net to cause scenes of sheer jubilation behind the Bartons Road end.
Late drama for Rutherford and the Hawks against Braintree again this season as lightning struck twice for the Hawks against their Essex opponents.
The Hawks remain three points above the bottom four with a two week break from league action before our trip to Hartlepool on December 22.
Hawks XI: 21. Dudzinski, 3. Williams (Cosgrave 86'), 4. Stock (c), 9. Ayunga, 10. Kabamba (Bradley 74'), 11. Tarbuck, 16. A.Robinson, 19. Wood, 20. Rutherford, 23. P.Robinson (Woodford 20), 25. Cordner
Referee: Savvas Yianni