Beavers downed by new look Hawks
By Rob Overfield
The Beavers suffered only their second league defeat against a well drilled Whitehawk team, not being helped by two penalty calls being refused.
Hampton took control from the off and dominated the early stages of the game with Brendan Kiernan being the driving force as the new look Whitehawk team under new boss Richard Hill tried to find their feet.
A well worked free kick on 11 minutes from Josh Casey saw Kiernan's shot deflected wide as the Beavers pressed.
10 minutes later, keeper Covolan had to push Jamal Lowe's shot wide and 60 seconds later, Kiernan had another shot blocked as the Beavers looked the most like scoring.
It was the Hawks that took the lead and totally against the run of play. Mills managed to get down the right hand channel on the edge of the box, his snap shot from a tight angle beat Howe and nestled in the opposite corner.
Almost immediately, the Beavers were back in the Whitehawk box, and Jamal Lowe appeared to have been brought down in the area. Surprisingly, the referee chose to caution the player for simulation; not the first of his odd decisions in the match.
With 10 minutes to go before the break, Michael Kamara went marauding down the right hand side from a Christian Jolley pass. His cut back found Jamal Lowe on the edge of the box, but amazingly he completely fluffed his shot and it dribbled out for a goal kick.
According the visiting fans, this was a much better performance by their team, but the Beavers still looked like they could get an equaliser.
Just after the hour, a great ball through put Jolley through in acres of space but his first touch was heavy and the ball ran out for a goal kick.
60 seconds later, the Beavers had a second call for a penalty turned down, much to the amazement of everyone in the ground.
Jamal Lowe sprinted through after a long ball and beat Covolan to the ball, he rounded the keeper and his first shot was saved by the retreating netminder. Lowe recovered the ball and in trying to round the keeper again, close to the goal, it appeared that a gloved hand pulled on his foot, bringing him down.
Everyone was awaiting the whistle for the spot kick, but it never came as the referee allowed play to continue. Even the Whitehawk fans were expecting the decision to go against them.
The Beavers ploughed on, and less than 5 minutes later, Jamal Lowe looked to be clean through on goal but his shot was blazed over the bar.
Whitehawk were holding on but with less than 5 minutes to go, substitute Manny Williams had a great shot, taking a deflection, it forced Covolan into tipping the attempt over the bar.
2 minutes later, it was all undone. Joe Hicks' defensive header ended up in no man's land, between himself and Aaron Howe. Quick thinking Mike West nipped in between to lift the ball past Howe into the net, giving the Hawks the win and 3 points they had not earned and scarcely deserved.
Speaking after the game, a clearly annoyed and frustrated Dowse stated "That was the worst refereeing performance I have seen in all my years in the game, and I've been involved in it for over 30 years. I can't fault the players at all."