Whitehawk 1-2 Phoenix Sports
Whitehawk were defeated for the first time at The TerraPura Ground in the Isthmian League South East after a frustrating 2-1 loss to Phoenix Sports.
The start of the match was uneventful, with the vast majority of the game being played in the centre third of the pitch. The first chance for the Hawks came after 25 minutes when Dave Martin crossed towards Duane Ofori-Acheampong. A Phoenix defender was on hand to clear at the last moment as far as John-Paul Kissock, but his long range strike went over the bar. With half-time approaching it was Kissock who broke the deadlock. A Dave Martin cross was headed back at the far post by Lucas Rodrigues for Kissock to swivel and slot past Steve Phillips at his near post.
The Hawks conceded an equaliser just 90 seconds after the re-start, when the dangerous Jeff Duah-Kessie turned past Kacper Lopata on the edge of the box to shoot across James Broadbent into the bottom corner. Playing down hill the visitors then had the upper hand. A mix-up in midfield then allowed Kenny Aileru to run through on goal, but James Broadbent did well to come off his line and block the attempt with his left foot. After once more giving the ball away at the back, Jack Hopkins sent a shot from the edge of the box narrowly wide. Fintan Walsh replaced Rob Deda on 59 minutes, with Ian Robinson being switched into an attacking role. In a rare moment of Hawks pressure five minutes later, Ofori-Acheampong played a delightful reverse ball to Kissock, whose shot from close range was saved by Phillips.
The chances kept coming as from a Phoenix corner, Connor McGrady hit the crossbar. The Hawks survived until the 75th minute, but Ben Allen stepped up and curled a right-foot free-kick past Broadbent for a 2-1 lead.
The Hawks did have the ball in the net six minutes from time when a Robinson cross from the right found Acheampong, whose shot was deflected into the goal by Rodrigues with his arm. The Hawks skipper was booked for his efforts. The best passing move of the match two minutes later was when then brought to an abrupt end when Lewis Clarke cyncially tripped Robinson as he ran beyond the back four after being released by Rodrigues.
The visitors could have sealed the win in the last minute as sub Lauris Chin broke clear of the home defence to beat Broadbent with a cross shot which somehow came back of the inside of the post to bounce clear. None of this mattered as Pheonix secured a well-deserved win and hand Hawks their second defeat inside a week.
Hawks: Broadbent, Robinson, Banya, Emberson, Lopata, Hamilton, Rodrigues (c), Kissock, Ofori-Acheampong, Deda (Walsh 59’), Martin – Subs Not Used: Jubrill, Unwin, Torres, Muggeridge
Sports: Phillips, Andrews, Clarke, Hopkins (c), McGrady, Barry, Bird (Bryon 59’), Whitelock, Duah-Kessie (Chin 80’), Allen, Aileru (Dythe 85’) – Subs Not Used: Andrews, Solan
Goals: Kissock 41’ (Whitehawk); Duah-Kessie 47’, Allen 75’ (Phoenix Sports)
Yellow Cards: Rodrigues (Whitehawk); Allen, Clark, Hopkins (Phoenix Sports)
Man of the Match: Charles Banya