The Hawks slipped to their biggest defeat under Steve King as Hemel Hempstead Town ran out 5-0 winners at The TerraPura Ground on Saturday.
Former Brighton forward Will Hoskins scored twice – including in the first 40 seconds – to put the Tudors on their way, with further goals from James Kaloczi, Matthew Campbell-Mhlope, Alex Osborn compounding the Hawks to a seventeenth defeat of the season.
Hopes were high after a Senior Cup win at Three Bridges in midweek, with teenagers Jordan Hawkins and Lewis Broughton retaining their starting spots to make their league debuts due to injuries.
However, unfortunately for The Hawks, the writing was on the wall as early as 40 seconds in. David Moyo was allowed to turn inside the area, and despite Hawkins doing well to turn his effort onto the post, ex-Albion Hoskins was the only one to follow the ball in and he had a simple tap-in.
That was a big blow for the hosts, who then had a good spell in the match. Ky Marsh-Brown forced Laurie Walker into a smart save before Pape Gueye fired wide from inside the area.
James Kaloczi had an effort disallowed for a foul at the other end, but Hemel weren’t kept out for much longer. After the half-hour mark, Alex Osborn put in a deep cross and Kaloczi wasn’t to be denied on this occasion, heading past Hawkins emphatically when unmarked from eight yards.
At two goals down at the break, any hopes of a Hawks comeback were torn up just five minutes into the second half. Jordan Parkes played a great ball through to Hoskins, and one on one with Hawkins finished well past the advancing keeper.
Things only got worse for King’s side as the match neared its end, with Matthew Campbell-Mhlope coming off the bench and firing home before former Hawk Osborn came back to haunt his former club with a fifth late on.