About Match

Westleigh Park played host to 24th vs 23rd in the Vanarama National League South as Mitch Brundle’s Dover Athletic came to Town. It was all change for the Hawks on the touchline with just over 24 hours prior to Kick-Off, Steve King and his assistant Matthew Barnes-Homer were relieved of their duties having picked up a disappointing 2 points from a possible 30 in League fixtures as well as being eliminated from 3 cup competitions. It was announced that in the interim the Under 23’s Management team of Cliff De Gordon, Ross Betteridge and Richard Pope would take charge of the Fixture as the Hawks went in hunt of a second league win of the Season.

The Hawks got off to a dream start infront of their vocal home support with Ryan Seager firing the Hawks ahead after just 5 minutes. McCarthy expertly flicked a ball over the top of the Dover defensive line, Seager plucked the ball out of the air before firing past Terrell in the Dover net.

Just 7 minutes later, the Hawks doubled their lead through the Captain, Jake McCarthy, who was playing with a renewed hunger and desire as he was set a ball on the edge of the area by Kieran Phillips before taking on a number of Dover defenders bursting into the area before driving his effort at goal beating Terrell.

The Hawks were dominating the game and they continued to do so right the way through the first half as they looked to add to their lead and really put Dover to the sword. Confidence was flowing through the players who had a point to prove and were fully intent on doing so and had the full support of the Hawks fans in attendance.

10 minutes before the interval, Jake McCarthy won a freekick on the edge of the area. An excellent position for Dorking Wanderers loanee, Jack Jebb to fire at goal. The effort was struck up and over the wall with Billy Terrell beaten but the effort struck the crossbar and marked an opportunity for Dover to regroup.

Dover were gifted their first real chance of the game as the referee pointed to the penalty spot as Kai Innocent was penalised for what at first glance looked like a fair challenge. Despite the protests, it would be Dover captain James Dunne to strike from 12 yards and he would convert to set up a nervy end to the first period. However, Dover were unable to equalise and the Hawks would take a thoroughly deserved lead into the break and left wondering how it wasn’t more.


The Hawks started the Second period exactly how they began the first, dominating Dover and looking to extend their lead and put the game beyond doubt. Kieran Phillips continued with excellent workrate leading the line with Ryan Seager and he could’ve won himself a spot kick after he went down under a challenge in the area but the referee wasn’t interested.

The fog continued to roll in across Westleigh Park but that didn’t deter Kieran as he restored the Hawks two goal advantage. The move was built excellently by the Hawks as Roarie Deacon transitioned the ball from right to left before picking out Kai Innocent who had made a bombing run up the left flank. As it looked like Kai was to deliver the ball in he cut a disguised ball in to Deacon who continued his supporting run into the area before pulling the ball back to Seager. His strike at goal was denied by Terrell but Phillips was on hand to bury the rebound.

Things would keep getting better for the Hawks and Kieran Phillips grabbed his second of the game on the hour mark with a poachers finish inside the 6-yard box to grab the Hawks 4th of the afternoon. The pressure from the Hawks would continue as the hunt for a 5th goal was on but Dover were handed another chance to convert from the spot with 15 to play.

James Dunne would convert and leave the Hawks needing to keep check of things defensively as well as looking to score additional goals heading towards the closing stages of the game.

The Hawks almost did an impeccable job of that not really giving the visitors a sniff before an effort from George Wilkinson, that almost looked as if it was a cross, deceived Worner and reduced the deficit to 1 as we headed into injury time.

The Hawks defended well and denied Dover any additional chances and grabbed only their second win of the season, a hard fought one but an excellent performance from the squad.