Hawks held at rock bottom East Grinstead

The Hawks came away from East Grinstead Town with just a point after a distinctly below-par performance.

Starting brightly, Hawks swept into a sixth minute lead when Lucas Rodrigues converted a Dave Martin cross from close range, but that was more or less as good as it got on what became an increasingly frustrating night. Duane Ofori-Acheampong had an opportunity when through on goal but scuffed a tame shot straight at Dan Smith in the 10th minute.

The home side, without a win all season, but revitalised by a new manager and new faces, worked their way back into the game by closing down the Hawks midfielders and pushing up the pitch with a very effective offside trap. The equaliser came on 23 minutes. Michael Uwezu ran clear of the Hawks back four and Gil Carvalho easily converted his cross.

The Wasps continued to fight for every ball on a sodden pitch, with the Hawks limited to the occasional break, more often than not halted by the offside flag. Steve Smith could have done better for the home side with a far post header just before half-time.

The Hawks fans expected a much-needed improvement in the second half, but the usual fluency was still missing, even after the introduction of Connor Tighe and Henry Muggeridge just after the hour mark. The well-disciplined Wasps back four, which featured former Hawks trialist Reece Batchelor, were rarely troubled until a fierce cross shot by Rodrigues brought a flying save from Smith with 15 minutes to go. Marvin Hamilton was then denied at the near post with a header.

Five minutes from the end Rodrigues was shown a straight red card for foul and abusive language after a Hawks penalty claim for hand ball hand been turned down by referee Andrew Bennett.

In the last minute of normal time a Dave Martin cross shot from outside the box was heading for the top corner, but a flying Smith tipped the shot away.  There was still time for Wasps Drew Cooney to be shown a second yellow card for a foul on John Paul Kissock, before the home side celebrated just their sixth point of the season.

Hawks: Broadbent, Walsh, Banya, Kissock (Unwin 90’), Torres, Hamilton, Rodrigues, Ovenden (Muggerdige 62’), Ofori-Acheampong (Tighe 65’) Abdulla, Martin (c)

Subs not used: Munt, Elwood

Wasps: Smith, Batchelor, Musungu, Henry, Moanda, Cooney, Uwezu, Williams-Bowers (Deen 68’), Smith (c), Clement-Peter (Hall-Anderson 90’), Carvalho (Phillips 85’)

Subs not used: Stripp, Bellingham

Yellow cards: Musungu, Phillips (Wasps)

Red cards: Rodrigues (Hawks), Cooney (Wasps)

Referee: Andrew Bennett

Attendance 112

Hawks MotM: Kissock

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