Richard Hill couldn’t inspire Whitehawk to return to winning ways in his first match in charge against Chelmsford City.
Robbie Willmott caught everyone out with a free kick just before half time as Rod Stringer’s side made it five wins on the trot at a wind-swept Enclosed Ground.
The Hawks will feel aggrieved they were made to play the final twenty minutes with ten men after Gabriel Yan saw red for a second bookable offence – after his first caution appeared to be very questionable.
After a bright start, the Hawks were under the cosh for large parts of the first period. Shamir Mullings tested Lucas Covolan before the impressive Shaun Jeffers’ run down the right and then strike drew a fingertip save from the Hawks keeper.
City then went even closer when Mark Haines met a corner from the left, but saw his goalbound effort hooked clear off the line by Yan.
The Essex side then went ahead just before the break. After a soft free-kick was awarded by referee Gary Parsons, Willmott stepped up on the left touchline and surprised everyone by firing the ball beyond the wrong-footed Covolan and in at the near post.
Yan then saw red midway through the second half for his second bookable offence, but it was the ten men of Whitehawk who came close to equalising late on.
Ross Fitzsimons pulled off a great save to deny teenage substitute Lucas Rodrigues, before Danny Mills went through one on one inside the final five minutes, but dragged his effort agonizingly wide of the far post.
Hawks boss Hill commented after the game: “I am here because the club are ambitious and want to get promoted and I am an ambitious manager who wants to succeed.
“Today wasn’t our day, but hopefully we can make the changes needed for the club to succeed going forward.”
Photos by David Pillman.