About Match

Two goals in each half secured the Hawks a 4-1 victory at high flying Wealdstone at Grosvenor Vale. 

Despite the Stones taking the lead early on Jonah Ayunga and Andy Drury struck to turn the deficit around before the interval with Alfie Rutherford and a Danny Kedwell penalty putting the icing on the cake.

The win means that the gap between the Hawks and Wealdstone at the top has now been cut to seven points.

There was two changes to the starting XI which beat Taunton Town in the FA Cup last Saturday with Danny Kedwell and Roarie Deacon coming in for Alfie Rutherford and Bradley Tarbuck respectively.

The hosts started the brighter of the two sides and had the ball in the back of the net after just three minutes when Lafayette lobbed the ball into Okimo who put the ball in the back of the net but the Stones skipper was judged to have been offside.

But they would find the back of the net eight minutes later and this time it would count. Daniel Green played an inviting ball across the area into the path of Lafayette who nodded the ball downwards to give Dean Brennan’s side the lead.

However, it seemed that setback was ultimately the wake up call which the Hawks needed. Just moments after the restart Straker picked out Deacon who played a teasing cross into the box but was found by Oxborough in the Wealdstone goal.

But the Stones keeper would be left to rue a mistake minutes later as Havant’s persistence prevailed. With Ayunga chasing down the ball Oxborough mis kicked and the ball ended up clattering onto Ayunga’s leg with the deflection bundling the ball into the back of the net to give the Hawks an equaliser.

In a game which continued to seesaw one way and the other, the hosts created two golden opportunities in a matter of moments and left a moment of brilliance from Ross Worner to keep the scores level.

Firstly a corner came into the penalty area where it found Michael Phillips who headed the ball narrowly over the bar.

Then just seconds later Lafayette came bursting forward for the hosts before getting one on one with Worner and with the goal at his mercy has a strike but the Hawks ‘keeper made himself big and got a crucial block.

The Hawks were forced into their first change of the game 20 minutes in when Alfie Rutherford was forced to come on for Roarie Deacon who picked up a knock.

Seven minutes later the Hawks hit the crossbar when Nicky Bailey down the right hand side played a corner into the area but directly from the kick he hit the top of the bar.

Minutes later, this time from a free kick, Bailey played a ball into Kedwell who in turn slid the ball across goal into Drury who couldn’t get his shot away.

But Drury wouldn’t be denied ten minutes from the break when Ayunga had an effort inside the box parried by the ‘keeper as far as Dukes who hammered the ball home from close range to put the Hawks in front for the first time.

And from this point on the Hawks seriously seized the initiative and enjoyed a purple patch before the break. Three minutes after the goal Alfie Rutherford, who played more of a Right wingers role, crossed the ball into the box towards Kedwell who got his effort away but went narrowly wide of the target.

A minute before the interval another in swinging Bailey corner was headed back and forth towards goal before finally finding Rutherford who had a poke on goal spilt by Oxborough.

The final opportunity of the first half fell to the Stones when Billy Clifford had a shot from close range going narrowly over.

HALF-TIME: Wealdstone 1-2 HAWKS

Havant started the second half rampant and almost doubled the lead just moments after the restart. Alfie Rutherford drove forward before finding himself clean through on goal, and once inside the six yard box elected to go for goal but Oxborough did well to block the effort.

But Rutherford’s persistence in front of goal paid off two minutes later as he made it 3-1 to the Hawks. Similar to the previous attempt he was played through before getting one on one with the ‘keeper where he then nestled the ball into the back of the net.

Lafayette played a dangerous ball into the box five minutes later where it could have landed to two Stones players from close range but was expertly dealt with by Anthony Straker.

On the hour mark Rutherford down the right flank played an immaculate ball into the path of Jonah Ayunga who headed the ball down but just wide of the target.

Five minutes later Matt Casey’s final contribution of the game proved to be a vital one when he made a big clearance to stop Ross Lafayette, who was in a promising position, from gaining possession when through on goal. Casey would be replaced by Dean Beckwith.

A minute later the Hawks won a penalty when Alfie Rutherford was bought down inside the penalty area.

Up stepped Danny Kedwell who put the Hawks’ penalty pains to bed, as he fired the ball straight down the middle to make it 4-1.

That fourth goal for the visitors put the sting into the tail of the game, the Hawks soaked up the pressure which piled their way in the ten minutes that followed.

Eight minutes from time Alfie Rutherford had an effort on goal from the edge of the area but held well by Oxborough.

Then Taylor had an effort in search of an unprecedented fifth from an acute angle tipped away by the Stones ‘keeper.

In the last minute of normal time Alfie Rutherford cut inside before his shot again saved by Oxborough, who finished the game strong.

Wealdstone had the last say in the game in stoppage time when Dennon Lewis, star of ITV programme Love Island, had a free kick on the edge of the box go narrowly over.

FULL-TIME: Wealdstone 1-4 HAWKS 

A fantastic victory for the Hawks over the league leaders which reduces our gap to the Stones to seven points.

Hawks XI: Worner, Read, Straker, Magri, Drury, Kedwell (C), Ayunga, Deacon, Bailey, Casey, Taylor

Subs on: Rutherford, Beckwith, Paul

Subs not used: Seager, Flannigan 

By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)