About Match

Tom Richardson’s first half brace saw the Hawks condemned to their first National League South defeat of the season as Braintree Town walked away from PO9 with a 3-1 win.

Femi Akinwande added the game killing third with just two minutes of normal time remaining.

Brad Tarbuck had pegged the Hawks back level midway through the opening period after Richardson struck inside the first five minutes.

Anthony Straker missed a penalty midway through the second period.

The defeat sees the Hawks slip to third in the table, 10 point behind leaders Wealdstone who have won 10 of their opening 11 games.

One change from last week’s 2-2 draw with Maidstone United saw Joe Cook come in for his first league start in the place of the injured Dean Beckwith.

Havant started the game brightly and came close just seconds in. Nicky Bailey played a good ball into the penalty area towards Sam Magri from 12 yards out, his effort well saved by Michael Johnson who shone in the Iron goal.

But, it would be their prowess up the other end just two minutes later which would see them take the lead when Ade Cole played the ball across the penalty area towards Tom Richardson who was afforded a free header before nodding the ball home to give the visitors the early advantage.

A quarter of an hour in, a blow for the Hawks as Wes Fogden came off injured, replaced by Bradley Tarbuck.

And the winger would make an instant impact, scoring just three minutes after coming on creating an opening out of nothing. Tarbuck cut inside the penalty area after picking the ball up in the middle of the Braintree half and when he found space he curled the ball into the bottom right hand corner to bring the Hawks onto level terms.

Five minutes later the Hawks were wondering how they hadn’t turned the tables with an effort cleared off the line and off the crossbar. Initially, Nicky Bailey’s corner fell perfectly to Sam Magri six yards out, his header hit the crossbar before the Josh Taylor’s rebound was cleared off the line and Johnson then saw the ball incredibly into his hands.

A minute later Taylor provided a long throw into the box towards Magri who flicked onto Brad Tarbuck who headed just wide at the far post.

Then it was Ayunga to find himself in space close to goal with Bailey again the provider, but the continued frustrations in front of goal continued.

Six minutes from the break the Hawks were hit with a huge blow when Richardson bagged his brace. He cut into the centre before he glided through the Hawks defence and when one on one with Worner tapped the ball home from close range.

Then in first half stoppage time the Hawks had a golden opportunity to level the game when Jonah Ayunga inside the box pulled the ball back into Roarie Deacon who from two yards out saw his effort blocked off the line.

HALF-TIME: HAWKS 1-2 Braintree Town

Danny Kedwell came on at the break in the place of Roarie Deacon, ex Hawk loanee Harry Donovan came on for the Iron before play restarted.

Four minutes after the restart Alfie Cerulli had an effort from the edge of the box come off both the crossbar and line as the Iron looked to settle the tie once and for all.

It would take twenty minutes after the restart for the Hawks to hit their full stride and when they did they post Glen Driver’s side monumental problems.

Alfie Rutherford Crossed a ball down the right hand side into the penalty area towards Danny Kedwell who picked the ball up on his right foot before his effort went narrowly over.

Less than a minute later the Hawks won a penalty.

Up stepped Anthony Straker who saw his penalty saved down the bottom left hand corner by Johnson.

With twenty minutes remaining the Hawks came close again with a flurry of efforts in a short space of time. The corner fell onto the head of Kedwell who saw his attempt blocked, Ayunga had a chance scurried away before Joe Cook saw his effort go over the bar.

Five minutes later Bailey played another teasing ball into the penalty area to Kedwell, this one held by Johnson.

In search of an equaliser Ryan Seager came on for Alfie Rutherford.

Five minutes from time Seager almost set up a leveller when he offloaded the ball to Benny Read down the right hand side but his low drilled effort was again denied by the outstanding Johnson.

But with just two minutes of normal time remaining, the Hawks saw their chances of clawing something from the game ripped away from them when Femi Akinwande pulled out the knockout punch.

Akinwande drove down the right side, before beating the Hawks defence and when one-on-one with Worner placed the ball into the bottom left corner to finish the game off.

The seven minutes added on time failed to see another late Hawks comeback against Braintree as our unbeaten record ended at 10.

FULL-TIME: HAWKS 1-3 Braintree Town 

Starting XI: Worner, Read, Straker, Magri, Fogden (c), Ayunga, Deacon, Bailey, Cook, Taylor, Rutherford 

Subs on: Tarbuck, Kedwell, Seager

Subs not used: Walton, Latham

By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)