Match Data 2004/2005
Jamie Campbell (Pearce, 88)
Dean Holdsworth (Blake, 88)
Helder Valdez (Lewis, 39)
Allan McLeod (Sangore, 46)
Craig Edwards (Remy, 46)
The Hawks slipped to an humiliating defeat this afternoon at Oakside, where in torrential rain hosts Redbridge scored all four goals in their 3-1 victory. The dour surroundings and awful weather left little to excite the smallest attendance in the league, and despite looking the better side for lengthy periods of the game the Hawks made no impact whatsoever.
It was another mistake from rookie keeper Emett Peyton that allowed Redbridge to take the lead in the 21st minute. His hurried attempt to clear the ball left him stranded while Jay Murray fired onto the post. Glenn Poole sent home the rebound. Poole doubled the lead in the 53rd minute with a tremendous left wing strike and a bad back pass from Jamie Campbell with 15 minutes to go left Motormen substitute Jourmaint Sangore with only Peyton to beat. The Hawks consolation came just past the hour when a shot from James Taylor came back off the post and Redbridge defender Chris Perkins kicked the rebound into his own net.
Gavin Holligan missed the game through flu, allowing Taylor his first starting appearance since September 18th. Super Jim has of late been providing guidance for up and comers Dan Gauntlett and Craig Newman in the reserves, but Gareth Howells, who has also completed two reserve team games in the last week, was curiously left on the bench with Emmet Peyton still Dave Leworthy’s keeper of choice.
While the rain tipped down the Hawks took to the task of maintaining their return to form with relish. In the opening minutes a diagonal from Brett Poate sent Dave Town out onto the right wing for a neat chip back into the box that allowed Taylor a twisting header caught by goalkeeper Nicky Wilson. Brett continued to work at speed, and Jason Chewins also went hell for leather with the pair creating a constant stream of balls up the left wing.
But despite early efforts from midfield the finishing touch eluded the front line, and it took Neil Sharp to latch onto a Poate corner in the 20th minute before the visitors threatened again. Within seconds though the hosts snatched an unlikely lead. Jay Murray broke between Gavin Jones and Tom Jordan on the troublesome Hawks back right, and drew out Peyton. His lunging attempt to stop the ball on the edge of the area failed, and Murray fired a fierce shot onto the far post. As Peyton tried to recover, Glenn Poole swept in to smash the rebound into the roof of the net.
The Hawks looked set to shrug off the setback though with some dominating play in the following minutes. Jordan narrowly missed a nicely weighted cross from Neil Champion, and when Taylor’s casual running back onside seconds later kept the linesman’s flag down, the Redbridge defence stopped dead and allowed Sharp to break free. Wilson got away with an awful hand ball as he tried to charge Sharp’s shot down, but the ball spun away for Town to carry it through and with an open goal he rifled it into the side netting.
At this point it was all Hawks. Holdsworth picked up a deflection and laid the ball off for Town to drive it into a defender, and agonisingly a succession of corners for the visitors came to nothing. Showing his ability to capitalise on any opportunity again, Murray made short work of running the length of the pitch with a deflected corner 35 minutes in that lead to an impressive, if heart stopping, save from Peyton.
Five minutes from the break the Hawks were confounded yet again when Campbell made light of some heavy defending and chipped another corner back across the box for Poate to hammer it full force onto the post. Seconds later Holdsworth masterfully set up Sharp for a spiralling shot that slipped past Wilson and home, but the goal was disallowed for a foul somewhere during the build up.
Eight minutes after the break the hosts went two up with another fast break finished by a tremendous shot. Substitute Yohance Lewis brought the ball up the middle of the pitch with the Hawks defence AWOL again, and put it wide for Poole to unleash an astonishing ball from the left wing that Peyton could only get fingertips to as it screamed past him. The Hawks continued to apply pressure and Chewins put Taylor through for a brilliant shot that Wilson leapt to punch over the bar.
The Motormen handed the Hawks a lifeline in the 61st minute. From a corner Taylor attempted a neat flick that smacked into the post and fell back to where defender Chris Perkins attempted a clearing lunge that sent the ball into his own net. Undaunted, the hosts carved out another fine chance minutes later and Peyton did well to push Ben Lewis’s shot round the post.
Sharp saw another attempt saved on the line when he latched onto a Chewins free kick, and just as it looked as though the visitors might claw their way back for a draw the game was put beyond them by another defensive error. Campbell played a back pass into nowhere, and debut making Jourmaint Sangore snatched it to run through and chip the ball over Peyton.
In the closing minutes of the game Leworthy retired Holdsworth and Campbell to bring on Dean Blake and seventeen year old youth team captain Sam Pearce. Pearce’s debut was marked minutes later when he struck a trademark free kick over the Redbridge wall for Blake to drive a fierce shot from close range that Wilson somehow turned over the bar.
Excepting the defensive errors, the Hawks played this game with the intention of winning it. What frustration remains then comes from the simple fact that Redbridge are currently heavily depleted by injury, and yesterday’s side featured debuts for several of their reserve players including a truly impressive first game for goalkeeper Nicky Wilson. It isn’t possible to apportion blame to a lack of effort on the part of the Hawks, only that several astonishing saves and the woodwork, twice, denied goals. It’s galling to think that a few mistakes created the most unlikely of score lines, but regardless the Hawks once again threw away a game that prevents them from escaping the clutches of mid-table mediocrity.