It had been a punishing December with three consecutive defeats but, as the New Year rolled in, the Hawks were back to rejoicing in front of 633 revellers, a highest attendance since November 2016.
And with it arrived a happy manager. Shaun Saunders had been rueing the loss of Joe Shelley to injury in recent weeks but Whitehawk kept at it and got their just reward in the first minute of injury time as Luke Robinson slammed the ball home through a sea of bodies.
Speaking after the game, Saunders said: “Yeah, I’m buzzing! Buzzing after that. I felt we needed to get a win from somewhere and here today…it’s big for us.”
“I thought the crowd were massive for us today”, he continued. “I felt they lifted us. But it was a tough game, wasn’t it? It was end-to-end, it was entertaining – anyone coming here as a neutral would have thought it was a good game to watch. I didn’t overly enjoy it! Because we were only winning for the last few minutes.”
“But it was a tough game. I thought they [Haywards Heath] were good, we were good. Some would say a draw would have been a fair result but, when you’ve got players like Luke Robinson, who can change games quickly, then you’re always in with a shout of winning games. We defended well, and we got our rewards in the end.”
It was Robinson’s second start since joining from Worthing ahead of our Bpxing Day defeat at Three Bridges, but the Bermuda international has got off to a fine start with two goals in as many matches.
“He’s a good player”, Saunders added. “We’re buzzing to have him on board. He enjoyed it to be fair! Great game to watch, two good sides and we come out on top so I’m really happy.”
“We’ve been unlucky with injuries. I know every club has but there was that little period where we were missing a few – anyone who knows anything about us knows that we’re missing key players at the moment but the players that have come in have done well. It hasn’t been a great run so I’m just pleased with a win. We need to build on that.”
And it’s back to the county of Kent for the Hawks who travel to strugglers Sittingbourne on Saturday before a mighty midweek venture to Margate ensues on Tuesday with a place in the Velocity Cup Semi Final at stake.