Hawks beat Welling 3-0 on opening weekend
After a long 182 days away, the Hawks got back to league back action with a comfortable 3-0 victory at home to Welling United to kick-off the season in style.
It represents the first time the Hawks have won the opening home game of the season since the club was formed, whilst it’s also the first opening day league victory since 2011.
Debut goals from James Roberts and Scott Rendell followed by a late Billy Clifford effort secured the three points on a glorious day at the Draper Tools Community Stadium.
It took just seven minutes for the deadlock to be broken as James Roberts found himself all alone in the Welling box, following Scott Rendell flick on. He set himself before striking the ball into the net via the post.
Joe Newton and Tommy Wright combined well down the left on 25 minutes as they brought goalkeeper Mahoney into action. Newton did well to wriggle his way into the box before firing an effort at the Welling goalkeeper, with Wright unable to turn home the rebound.
The lead was doubled for the Hawks on the stroke of half-time as Rendell found the net with a controlled header. The ball was retrieved on the left by Newton and the wing-back swung an inviting ball into the near post where Rendell was loitering to head the ball in.
HT – HAWKS 2 Welling United 0
Havant picked up where they left off after the break, seeing a lot of the ball and creating chance after chance.
Rendell saw his goal bound header blocked on 54 minutes which had Mahoney in the Welling goal scrambling.
The Wings were lucky not to find themselves three down when Wright fired a right-foot rocket from 25-yards. His effort which left Mahoney flat-footed, cannoned back off the upright.
Rendell went close again for the hosts when he challenged a ball in from the right. The striker met the ball well but his header was cleared off the line by substitute Charlie O’Keefe.
Newton was a menace down the left all afternoon for the Hawks and almost added a third late on, when he met Josh Passley’s searching cross. Newton took it under his spell before firing a half-volley on target which brought a wonderful reflex save out of Mahoney.
Paul Doswell’s men did grab their third of the day when substitute Billy Clifford curled a delightful effort into the corner from the right.
The Hawks now focus on the task at hand next weekend as they travel to Hampton and Richmond. The Beavers were also victorious on opening day as they ran out 5-0 winners at Eastbourne Borough.
FT – HAWKS 3 Welling United 0
Hawks Starting XI – Worner, Passley, Oastler ©, Adebowale, Rooney, Newton, McCarthy, Gobern, Roberts (69), Wright (72), Rendell (76)
Subs used – Clifford (69), Wall (72), Baggie (76)
Subs not used – Searle, Green
Welling Starting XI – Mahoney, Ezennolim (45), Barnes, Pearce, Shorunbi (45), Durojaiye ©, Arinyemi, Della Verde, Campbell, Biler, Stevenson
Subs used – O’Keefe (45), Sinclair (45)
Subs not used – Krabbendam, Ilic, Brown
Written by: Ryan Honey