About Match

Three first half goals saw the Hawks beat Tonbridge Angels 3-1 at Longmead to retain our unbeaten record in The National League South. 

Strikes in the opening period from Jonah Ayunga, Nicky Bailey and Andy Drury on the stroke of half time proved to be the perfect response to Tom Hession-Harris’ second minute opener.

The Hawks had to upstage a spirited late comeback by the hosts who forced two big saves out of Ross Worner in the second half.

Victory puts us up to fourth in the embryonic league table.

Paul Doswell made one change from the team that drew 0-0 with Chelmsford City last Saturday. Benny Read came in for Roarie Deacon for the first in a two game weekend, meanwhile Wes Fogden made his 250th appearance for the club.

It was the Angels that got off to the perfect start, taking the lead just three minutes in when an awkward looking throw in found its way towards the back post where it was picked up by Hassion-Harris who knocked the ball home from close range at the back post.

But five minutes later the Hawks were back on level terms when Jonah Ayunga struck once again. Alfie Rutherford picked the ball up before playing a delicious ball into the path of Ayunga who took a touch before slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner.

On the quarter hour mark it was Rutherford’s turn to have a go this time after Benny Read played the ball onto his right foot before his effort deflected out for a corner.

Seconds later the Hawks won themselves a free kick on the edge of the box after asking many questions of the Angels defence.

Up stepped Nicky Bailey from around 20 yards out against the five man Tonbridge wall. His free kick went curling past them before shattering the top right corner of the net to put the Hawks in front.

Ross Worner was called into action midway through the half pulling off a superb save to keep the Hawks’ lead intact when Bentley had a go from the best part of 25 yards out, but his effort is parried off the post.

Five minutes later Josh Taylor came close for the Hawks. Taylor picked the ball up on the right flank before cutting inside and going for goal forcing a great save by Roberts in the Angels goal.

Ten minutes from the break Ross Worner was called into action again when Bentley’s effort from inside the box was saved by the Havant shotstopper.

Havant continued to advance as the half drew to a close. Alfie Rutherford played a pinpoint cross into Jonah Ayunga whose header went narrowly wide of the target.

But that third came in the dying seconds of first half stoppage time when Andy Drury added to his Hawks account for the season. Josh Taylor’s initial ball was cleared before possession pin balling across the area with bodies scrambling to get the ball, but when it fell to Drury from an acute angle he hammered it into the top left hand corner to create a cushion.

Half-Time: Tonbridge 1-3 HAWKS 

Havant started with the same tempo which the finished the first half with despite the swelteringly hot conditions at Longmead.

Two minutes after the restart Benny Read did well to keep the ball alive before playing it back to Drury who volleyed the ball first time but his effort strays narrowly wide of the target.

Roarie Deacon came on in the 55th minute after Alfie Rutherford was subbed off with a suspected dead leg.

Just after the hour mark it was the energetic Read who was at the forefront again for the Hawks as he kept the attack alive before playing a cross come shot which was held by Roberts.

But it was Tonbridge who continued to battle and try and conjure a second to try and set up a grandstand finish. But it was the roles of Magri, Walton and Bailey among many others who shun brightly like a beacon to keep the breach clear of any danger.

With just under 20 minutes left to play Worner again made a vital save to keep the cushion intact. Theobald came darting forward before trying his luck in front of goal but again Worner parries away a superb strike from the Angels who were getting closer to that second goal.

Seven minutes later Andy Drury nearly finished off the contest following great footwork by Wes Fogden who cut inside before playing the ball out into his path but his effort was matched by Roberts.

A matter of moments later the Hawks again kept pressing, trying to devilishly defeat the Angels, this time Taylor plays it to Fogden who plays it across goal but sinfully finds the gaping arms of the ‘keeper.

Danny Kedwell came on with nine minutes left to play, a great moment for the fans to see the skipper back on the field.

And he almost had the perfect start to his first competitive game as a Hawks player as Bradley Tarbuck whipped a brilliant ball across the box but it never quite came across into his direction.

But the last knockings were mainly played in the Angels half and they hit the post with two minutes of normal time remaining. Turner on the edge of the box on his left foot with a curling effort hit the post.

Full-Time: Tonbridge 1-3 HAWKS

A well ground out victory away from home in the heat to get our bank holiday weekend off to the perfect start. Next up is a home game against Eastbourne Borough on Monday afternoon.

Hawks XI: Worner, Read, Straker, Walton, Magri, Fogden (C), Drury, Ayunga, Bailey, Taylor, Rutherford

Subs on: Deacon, Tarbuck, Kedwell

Subs not used: Beckwith, Cook

By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)