Whitehawk temporarily forgot how to defend corners last night – and are right back in the relegation scrap.

Hawks conceded two goals, the first soft and the second comical, from identical near post deliveries in the closing minutes of the first half to negate almost 44 minutes of solid work.

The double blow sent them towards a defeat against play-off chasing Hampton and Richmond which leaves them just two points clear off the drop zone.

Danny Mills’ 74th-minute header was scant reward for a lot of endeavour but not enough quality going down the slope in the second period.

It was 3-0 by then, anyway, Shamir Mullings having been allowed space to head home from a cross.

Hawks now prepare for a six-pointer at Truro on Saturday, when the first demand will be a clean sheet.

Boss Andy Woodman said: “Two set pieces have done us. You can’t say we were great but you can’t say our keeper had a save to make in open play.

“If we had got to half-time at 0-0 I thought we would go on to win it and then we had those two ridiculous set-pieces where we can’t defend at the near post. “

Woodman has generally made Hawks harder to beat and three recent wins under his command are looking precious.

For all their hard work, though, ultimately this latest defeat hinged on a couple of minutes just before the break.

Substitute Michael Kamara, on for the injured Josh Casey, scored twice in that period but the second was a personal nightmare for home goalkeeper Lucas Covolan.

What made it even harder to take for Hawks was that they had defended well until then.

They had even produced the two best efforts on goal as Sergio Torres lashed a shot wide from the edge of the box and Mills headed past the upright after a nice attack started by Ibby Akanbi.

Then the roof caved in. The hosts had some bad luck on the opening goal in the 44th minute because Hampton took a quick throw from several yards further forward than they should have.

That teed up Harold Odametey for a miscued cross which Covolan had to tip over his own bar.

The corner was delivered to the near post, where Kamara got the crucial touch.

Worse followed during the four minutes added mainly for Casey’s ankle injury.

This time an overhit pass went straight through to Covolan but, rather than catch it, the Brazilian goalkeeper opted to control it with his left foot.

The ball flicked off his boot and behind for a corner and the defending was non-existent as a low delivery to the near post allowed Kamara to score again.

Hawks made a double switch at half-time and it livened them up.

But, after a lot off huff and puff in pursuit of a goal, they were further punished by the unattended Mullings on 64 minutes.

Despite all the turmoil this season at the Enclosed Ground, one thing that has not changed is that Mills still looks their biggest threat.

He had already seen a volley on the turn tipped over by Sam Howe when he got Hawks on the scoresheet. Frankie Sutherland supplied a pinpoint cross which Mills guided back across the keeper and inside the far post.

Whitehawk: Covolan; Omozusi, M’Boungou, Harding; Passley, Torres, West, Southam (Sutherland 46), Scales (Woods-Garness 46); Akanbi, Mills. Subs not used: Favarel, Forte, Hobbs.

Hampton and Richmond: Howe, Jelley, Casey (Kamara 34), Gallagher, Murphy, Collier, Kiernan, Solomon, Mullings, Odametey, Colley (Jolley 32). Subs not used: Bishop, Gasson, Hippolyte-Patrick.

Referee: Elliott Kaye (Essex) Attendance: 212.