Karl Hawley probably had a sleepless night, but Scunthorpe United striker will recover from bad day at Notts County
KARL Hawley has been backed to recover from his nightmare return to former club Notts County.
The Scunthorpe United striker squandered several good openings to put the Iron in front at Meadow Lane on Saturday – much to the home crowd’s delight – and they paid the ultimate price when the Magpies netted a winning goal with nine minutes to play.
Hawley has scored more goals in his single season at Scunthorpe than he did during three years with Notts.
But manager Brian Laws said the experienced front man would probably be facing a sleepless night rather than going home with the match ball.
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“Karl Hawley is 31 years old, there’s no point me telling him what he should have done,” said Laws, who felt his side deserved something from the game.
“How do I put all of the blame on the shoulders of a player of his age and ability? You can't.
“He'll go through those situations in his mind and he probably won't sleep a wink tonight - that's what players do.
“What I did say to him was that he should have been walking away with the match ball - that's how good the chances were. They weren't difficult ones either, they were quite easy for him.
“I could have brought him off, but he did everything right today in terms of getting into the right spot – you’ve got to be there in the first place to miss them.
“He has to take that into the next game and make sure when he does get those opportunities again, he buries them.”
Laws admitted the single goal defeat at Meadow Lane, which means the Iron have not scored on their travels since January 26, when Hawley netted in a 1-1 draw at Carlisle United, was indicative of Scunthorpe’s struggles this season.
As well as passing up the host of openings they had to break the deadlock, United were sloppy during the 81st minute corner from which defender Dean Leacock swept home a close-range shot.
“It is our story of the season so far, for sure. We've created a lot of opportunities to win games and we haven't punished teams," Laws continued.
“Then we get punished for the slightest mistake.
“We've got to defend well when we miss chances like we did and the one time we didn't defend, and I am being picky here, was for the goal.
“We had three people in there, but we just didn’t react to it as well as we should have -and we’re generally very good at that.
“It’s disappointing to lose to a goal like that, but I’ve got to give great praise to the performance and the manner we approached this game. I thought it was first class.
”You have to take knocks sometimes, but this is a tough one to take because the performance we out in meant we should have won the game quite comfortably.
“We didn't deserve to lose, but that is the plain, hard fact we have to accept.”