Another week passes, another opportunity draws closer. It’s Saturday, March 12. And today Whitehawk return to the capital for the final time this campaign. A little shimmy up the A23/M23 combination brings us close enough, as the remaining number of games drops to nine.
Victory today could potentially see the Hawks nesting in 14th position. Pressure lifted, smiles all around. It’s tight at the table’s foot. But our opponents have no such worry. VCD Athletic – ten points to whoever can guess what that stands for. As it is, the sun is poking from the clouds just in time for another captivating instalment of Isthmian League football.
Last time out
Well, it was defensively solid. Seven whole days have passed since the club in mere shouting distance of VCD ambled down to Sussex. Phoenix Sports would be in fiery form following the restart, clanking the post and seeing a penalty marvellously-saved, yet the net would not ripple.
Harsh were the winds slapping the statue-like supporters, their support was unswerving, immense even. Whitehawk’s offensive gears spluttered with visiting goal guarder Steve Phillips untroubled for great portions of the contest. Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke prevailed as the here, earning the ever so coveted Man of the Match award. Same again, Strooey,
Vickers, Crayford & Dartford Athletic Football Club (for those that didn’t get it before). A combination of teams, places, players now mixed into one, it’s been a positive campaign for the capital outfit as they rest in 8th position, nine points adrift from the playoffs.
So a promotion push appears unlikely. Safety, however, is most certainly a guarantee as they play host to another side for the second successive weekend. On their previous travails on the turf they were upended by a lone strike in a 1-0 defeat to Sittingbourne. Prior to that their defence had earned them three consecutive clean sheets.
As resolute defensively as they are formidable in attack, their 54 league goals this season ranks fifth-highest. Youssef Bamba has found the net on an impressive 15 occasions, whilst Anthony Adesite has 11. A stern test for Whitehawk’s backline awaits.
The reverse fixture was arguably Whitehawk’s finest performance at The Enclosed Ground this campaign. Javaun Splatt proving to be the difference, his Thierry Henry-esque first into the far corner was followed up late in the second half by a simpler tap-in. 2-1 the Hawks triumphed as the vociferous noise swirled around the ground.
It was not such a delightful story on our last trip to VCD’s home of Oakwood. In a season curtailed due to the pandemic, the opening game saw the Hawks defeated 2-1 despite being in the lead for 85 minutes. Marvin Hamilton opened the scoring in the early moments, but two late Malachi Hudson strikes condemned Whitehawk to defeat.