HAVANT & Waterlooville have been relegated from the National League South on another dark day for Hampshire.

The Hawks take the plunge with county rivals Basingstoke Town, whose fate was sealed some time ago.

Lee Bradbury's men had to win their final match of the season against Weston-super-Mare to ensure finishing above St Alban’s City and Margate.

But, despite taking a first-half lead through former Cherries striker James Hayter, they ended up drawing 1-1 in front of an anxious West Leigh Park crowd, writes Mike Vimpany.

The Hawks finished the season on 47 points – the same as Margate, whose final goal difference was just one better than Havant.

Margate lost their last game, 2-0 to Bath City at Twerton Park, while St Alban’s – who thrashed Havant 6-0 a fortnight ago – thumped Dartford 4-0.

The results conspired to make it a miserable afternoon for the Hawks, who  were in the promotion play-offs 12 months ago and are now relegated for the first time in their history.

For the opening 45 minutes there was little hint that the afternoon – and season – would turn sour.

Havant were ahead in the 17th minute and looked comfortable at the break.

Hayter’s predatory header inside the six-yard box from a precision cross by Ben Swallow earned the former AFC Bournemouth man his 11th goal of the season – and gave Hawks a crucial lead.

It was vital Havant clung on to that advantage and early in the second half they got a chance to double it – and put the game to bed.

Brian Stock got into a great position on the edge of the Weston box, but goalkeeper Luke Purnell was quick off his line and the chance was gone.

It was to be the first of two significant moments in the second period that would shape Havant’s destiny.

Weston pushed more players forward, leaving Hawks struggling in centre-field and upped their game by 50 per cent, with the busy Tristan Plummer causing problems.

But it was a mistake by one-time Saints player Matt Paterson 17 minutes from the end which led to the WSM equaliser which would ultimately send Havant down.

Paterson lost possession to full-back Sekani Simpson out on the far Weston right and when the ball was worked in, the visitors equalised.

Jamie Edge shot from the edge of the box and Scott Wilson came in on the blind side to beat Ryan Young and make it 1-1.

Havant & Waterlooville had to score a second – but all they could manage was two late unrewarded corners.