Richard Hill will be hoping for a response from his Whitehawk players ahead of tomorrow night’s big FA Cup First Round replay away at Stourbridge.

It has been a torrid time of late for the Hawks, who have conceded seven goals in the last two games since that controversial draw with the Northern League side.

Until last Tuesday, the Hawks had just conceded seven goals under Hill since 10 September, with five clean sheets in ten matches.

However, Truro City were 4-2 winners at the Enclosed Ground last Tuesday before East Thurrock United went away 3-2 winners on Saturday.

Hill said: “I think you have seen us stop doing what had made us successful.

“Ideally, we would be on the training pitch working on these issues, but we have to go there and try to win.

“We are not good enough at present to go out and try to out-score the opposition, we need to play to our strengths.”

The first match on November 5 of course ended in controversy.

Javier Favarel’s effort deep into stoppage time looked to have secured a passage into Round Two for the Hawks, but Stourbridge lived to fight another day after referee Rob Whitton called time right at the moment the ball touched the midfielder’s boot.

The FA have since confirmed to the club that they have written to referee Whitton to enquire why he made the decision he did, and to outline ‘why he got the decision wrong’.

And Hill pointed out what happened at another FA Cup tie involving a non-league side last weekend.

“The referee blew for full-time so couldn’t allow the goal but he could and maybe should have played a second longer as we were still attacking,” he said.

“Rochdale were allowed to take their free-kick against Maidstone United, and they scored from it to force a replay. That was the last kick of the game, and well over the indicated stoppage time, so what’s the difference?”

A home tie against League One Northampton Town are the reward for tomorrow night’s winners, but Hill knows the Hawks will have to improve on the last few weeks if they are to progress.

He added: “In the last couple of games we do not want to do the horrible jobs that we need to do to win football matches.

“Before we can attack we have to have a good base.

“Defensively, it’s hard to see how we can go from conceding two goals in five games to conceding seven in two.

“We have to improve, and we will have to play well to win the game.

“We’re not doing that lately, but we have got good players and I have full confidence in my team.”

Since the tie, Stourbridge have picked up four points in two games – and rested no fewer than nine players in their 2-2 draw at Spennymoor Town on Saturday ahead of the game.


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