By Anthony Scott
Paul Reid praised his side’s character after watching Whitehawk come from behind to book their place in the Second Round of the FA Trophy.
Ramon Marimon and Dan Harding scored their first goals for the Hawks as they came from a goal down to win 2-1 at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
The hosts, who went ahead through Charlie Davis’ penalty in the first half, finished with ten men after Stephane Zubar got a straight red card for a professional foul.
Reid said: “I think it was a classic game of two halves.
“The difference between the performances of the first and second halves are like chalk and cheese, and to be fair to the lads they deserve a lot of credit to turn the game around.
“The character everyone showed tonight was great, we looked like we wanted to play for each other and in the end thoroughly deserved the win.”
Glen Southam went close early on for the Hawks, but his low drive from the edge of the area went just wide of the post.
However, it was the hosts who took the lead midway through the first half when Ramon Marimon clumsily took down Ben Thomson inside the area. Charlie Davis stepped up for the resulting penalty, and despite getting two hands on it, Ross Flitney couldn’t keep out the effort from twelve yards.
Reece Connolly then saw an effort from close range go straight at Jason Matthews, where had the ball gone anywhere else it would have gone in, before Flitney made a solid stop from Thomson.
The Hawks were dealt a blow before the break, with joint-manager Paul Reid having to come off due to injury – forcing a defensive reshuffle as a result.
Despite that, the Enclosed Ground outfit drew level just four minutes after the break. Mike Wests’ inswinging corner from the left picked out Ramon Marimon, who got in front of his man to head in his first goal for the club.
The Hawks then came close to going ahead with just over 15 minutes to go when West’s ball in from the right picked out Reece Connolly, but he couldn’t get enough power on his header to really trouble Matthews.
Hosts Weymouth were then reduced to ten men as Stephane Zubar pulled down Danny Mills on the edge of the area. Despite already being booked, the referee Gary Parsons showed the defender a straight red card.
And from the resulting free-kick, the Hawks were in front ten minutes from time. Dan Harding stepped up, and planted the ball with his left foot into the far corner, wrong-footing Matthews.
The hosts lost their heads in the closing stages, committing several fouls due to their frustration, with the Hawks seeing the game out to book their place in the Second Round where a home tie against Dulwich Hamlet awaits on January 14.
Fellow joint-manager Alan Payne said after the game: “I think we saw tonight what the boys are capable of.
“We are running on a very small squad, so to ask them to play Saturday-Tuesday consistently is a big ask but tonight they delivered.”
Photos by David Hunt.