Following FA Cup disappointment at the weekend, the Hawks fell to 3-2 loss at home to Hemel Hempstead.
The home side got off to an awful start and were behind within two minutes. A corner from skipper Jake Howells was met by Kyle Ajayi who came up from the back, and under no challenge the defender was able to find the bottom corner.
The visitors soon doubled their lead, a hopeful ball down the line that just about stayed in play was latched onto by lone striker Bernard Christie. With Havant stretched, he quickly played the ball across the box to an unmarked Omar Rowe who finished with ease.
Paul Doswell’s men reacted well and got themselves back in the game minutes later. A Sam Magri header was cleared off the line courtesy of Nathan Cooper’s hand, leaving referee Savvas Yianni no choice but to award the penalty and send him off. Danny Kedwell stepped up and smashed the ball past Dean Snedker from 12 yards to halve the deficit.
Hemel had a glorious chance to reestablish their two goal lead moments later when Christie broke past the offside trap. But the striker delayed his effort which allowed Moussa Diarra to get back and divert it behind for a corner.
It was the away side who were looking the most dangerous and again almost found the net. Good work from Chris Paul down the right to get away from the backtracking Tommy Wright before lofting the ball over the top to find JJ Lacey. The winger cut in and sent a good effort towards the goal that needed tipping over the crossbar by Ross Worner.
Lacey restored the Tudors’ two goal lead just past the half hour mark when he tried his luck from range again after cutting inside full-back George McLennan. His curling effort kissed the post before finding the net, leaving Worner no chance.
The Hawks got their second of the game just before half-time following a Josh Taylor corner. Moussa Diarra towered above everyone before sending a thumping header past Dean Snedker to make the next 45 minutes all to play for.
HT – HAWKS 2 Hemel Hempstead 3
A short corner routine soon after the restart almost brought Havant level as Sam Magri drew a smart stop from Snedker from close range.
Kedwell thought he had levelled proceedings on 55 minutes but Snedker stood firm again between the sticks. Excellent skill from substitute Roarie Deacon to take on his man and deliver to the back post to find Kedwell, but the striker couldn’t bundle his effort in.
As the game ran into the last 15 minutes, Hemel began to drop deeper and deeper and the Hawks so very nearly equalised when a long ball into the box found Diarra. His looping header looked destined for the corner but was cleared off the line by Gus Scott-Morris.
After an entire half of pushing for an equaliser against ten men, it just wouldn’t fall for the hosts as they slipped to defeat for the second successive game.
FT HAWKS 2 Hemel Hempstead 3
STARTING XI – Worner, Magri, Diarra, Walton, Poku, Taylor, McLennan,Clifford, Kedwell, Wright, Iaciofano
Subs used – Deacon, Read, Sinclair
Subs not used – Tupper, Straker
By Ryan Honey (@ryanhoney9)