Wodonga carried a seven-match losing streak against Raiders into the round 12 away fixture, with an average margin of 60 points.
But with their season on the line after trailing by three goals at half-time, the Bulldogs launched a stunning comeback, only to lose the lead and match when Steve Jolliffe snapped a goal from close range with only 85 seconds left.
It was the club's second successive three-point loss after falling to unbeaten Albury.
"Wodonga has won a lot of respect from us, not that we didn't respect them beforehand," Hodgkin revealed.
"They're coming on pretty well and I said to the boys next time we play them, we've got to show them a bit more respect than we did."
The Bulldogs have similarities to Rovers from 2019.
The Hawks were coming off a winless wooden spoon but armed with new coach Daryn Cresswell and a few recruits, the club almost played finals, with narrow losses proving the difference.
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Wodonga was also last, has a new coach in Jordan Taylor and recruits, but single-figure losses have ended finals hopes.
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