Isthmian League

Preview | VCD Athletic (A)

The weekend is here, the Hawks are 4th, and everything just seemed right. But heed to the calendar, and it’s yet another opportunity for more points on the board as Shaun Saunders’ side venture to VCD Athletic on Saturday.

Bored of the M23 yet? Many a Saturday in recent weeks feels like a dose of deja vu as we once again point those compasses north with Oakwood the next destination as we look to make it five matches unbeaten.

And Tuesday night felt like the Whitehawk of not so much old, but of earlier in the season as four delectable strikes capped off a glistening Valentine’s Day with a 4-0 win over Lancing.

Rob O’Toole returned to the Starting XI and shone in the #9 position, linking play beautifully and earning a place on the scoresheet as Harry Shooman missed out through injury.

There were more changes from Saturday’s draw at Faversham, too, as Charlie Lambert returned to the fold in place of Michael Fernandes, who is now with Salisbury, and Alfie Rogers took the place of Shay Leahy, who dropped to the bench.

Last time out

So, yes – 4-0 was the scoreline on Tuesday evening as the Hawks produced a rampant, rambunctious display to send neighbours Lancing home upset.

It was slick, unforgiving; those four beautiful strikes beginning with O’Toole, flicking on a  long-ball before receiving it back, thumping home on the half-volley from 20 yards to get the ball viciously rolling.

And then it was the turn of Charlie Harris, a midfielder who of late has relished The Enclosed Ground turf with three goals in as many home matches, and aren’t they sumptuous…

His latest was a firecracker just outside the box, drilling true beyond Macauley Scott that nearly burst the rigid netting.

Stefan Wright watched on, thinking to himself: ‘yeah, I can better that’. And boy, did he. From 25-yards, the ball sat up beautifully for a long-range pearler, arrowing away from Scott and into the very corner of the net to further extend the lead.

Luke Robinson rounded the night off with a diving header after a superb ball from Kris Oti to condemn Lancing to heavy defeat, whilst handing the Hawks a further three juicy points as the table looks all the more sweet.

The hosts

VCD Athletic, that’s who. A side founded in the midst of the First World War (because why not), they now find themselves in 14th position, and arrive with the worst form out of anyone in the division over the previous six matches (LLDDLD).

After flirting with the playoffs themselves at the time of our reverse fixture (more of that to come…), ‘The Vickers’ have since slipped a touch, now looking over their shoulder as the games come thick and fast.

But a commendable point on their travels last time out — a 2-2 draw at Sevenoaks Town — Grant Basey’s side sit in better stead ahead of Saturday’s fixture, though they are without a home win since November 12.

The slippery Soul Kader, who is on loan from Bromley and may have since returned, leads the goalscoring charts for VCD with eight league goals over a rather short span, whilst Anthony Adesite is still very much there, breathing down his neck with seven.

Previous encounters

And so, that reverse fixture: a blistering 4-0 win over tomorrow’s opponents was had back in early November as goals from Joe Shelley, Rob O’Toole, Nathan Cooper and Kai Brown handed the Hawks a convincing victory under the lights.

Since the 2019/20 campaign the two sides have met on five occasions, with the Hawks having much the upper hand of things with four wins and one defeat from those matches, though only the most recent was separated by more than one goal.

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