The Hawks fell to their second defeat of the season at home to Oxford City at the Draper Tools Community Stadium losing 2-1.
First-half goals from Harvey Bradbury and Joe Iaciofano were enough to see them leave with three points as the Hawks’ attempted comeback started and ended with Joe Oastler’s goal 10 minutes into the second-half.
Oxford created chances from the very start and should have taken the lead inside the opening 10 minutes after two good chances in the Hawks box. First, Harvey Bradbury saw his first-time effort trickle wide of the post, whilst Joe Iaciofano was denied well by Ross Worner from close range moments later.
The Hoops did take the lead on 18 minutes through the lively Bradbury. Unmarked at the back post, the striker tapped home following good work down the left from George Harmon and Josh Ashby.
The visitors quickly doubled their advantage minutes later as Bradbury found Iaciofano making a dangerous run into the Havant area. Iaciofano, who made his move from the Hawks to City in the summer, finished well into the bottom corner past Worner.
Iaciofano could have added to his day’s tally shortly before the break. He tested Worner from just inside the area with a fierce shot that was heading in at the near post.
Manager Paul Doswell changed things up before the interval. Defender Sam Magri was sacrificed for the inventive Billy Clifford to come off the bench.
HT – HAWKS 0 Oxford City 2
The Hawks came out of the blocks in the second period. Billy Clifford went close from a 25-yard free-kick which had Dudzinski scrambling on 49 minutes.
Moments later, chaos ensued as the Hawks searched for their first goal of the afternoon. Paul Rooney stepped infield before letting fly from 20-yards, his sweetly struck shot cannoned back off the woodwork. The ball fell nicely to Jake McCarthy, but the midfielder couldn’t redirect the rebound on target and his strike smashed back off the crossbar.
The hosts did get the goal they deserved 60 seconds later, Manny Adebowale directed a Billy Clifford corner on target. After being cleared off the line, the ball landed at the feet of Skipper Joe Oastler and he finished well into the corner.
The Hawks thought they had pulled level late on but the referee saw an infringement on goalkeeper Dudzinski as he tried to claim Josh Passley’s looping cross. The ball went all the way through before finding the net, but it counted for nothing as the goal was disallowed.
Havant have been drawn to Beaconsfield in next week’s FA tie, so return to league action on 25th September away to St Albans.
FT – HAWKS 1 Oxford City 2
HAWKS Starting XI – Worner, Passley, Magri (41), Oastler ©, Adebowale, Newton, McCarthy, Rooney, Roberts (69), Wright, Rendell (63)
Subs used – Clifford (41), Wall (63), Baggie (69)
Subs not used – Searle, Gobern
Oxford City Starting XI – Dudzinski, Asare, Harmon, Ashby, Matsuzaka, Fleet ©, Owusu, Bradbury, Iaciofano, Carroll, Kyprianou
Subs used – Bancroft
Subs not used – Rowan, Benyon, McEachran, Davies
Written by: Ryan Honey