Bradbury content as Hawks earn share of the spoils

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury   Picture: Dave Haines

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Dave Haines

Aaron Dawson. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Gosport aim to give loyal fans something to cheer at home

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LEE BRADBURY had no complaints as the Hawks picked up another precious point in their bid to reach the Skrill South play-offs with a 1-1 draw at Weston-super-Mare last night.

Nigel Atangana’s 16th-minute strike looked enough to earn them the win but the Seagulls pegged them back five minutes from time.

The draw extends the Hawks’ lead to three points over sixth-placed Dover Athletic – with three games to play.

‘This is another good point for us against a more-than-useful Weston side,’ said Bradbury.

‘In the end the draw was a fair result, though it was frustrating to concede so late in the game.

‘Nigel Atangana scored with a wonderful strike to get us in front but in the second half they pinned us back for much of the time.

‘Our strikers became too isolated but it looked as if we might hold on.

‘In truth, though, their goal had been coming for a little while.’

Dennis Oli and Atangana both recovered from injury and returned to the Hawks starting line-up.

Dan Strugnell, Nic Ciardini and Pedro Monteiro also reappeared as Bradbury rotated his squad once again.

Dayle Grubb fashioned the first chance for the Seagulls with an 18-yard shot that was deflected into the arms of visiting goalkeeper Benji Buchel.

Christian Nanetti showed a good early threat for the Hawks with a break down the left, before being crowded out.

The Italian winger was prominent again soon after, with a low cross from the left that Oli failed to reach.

The Hawks were rewarded for their positive start, however, when the returning Atangana gave them a 16th minute lead.

Atangana forced a mistake from Grubb before striding forward and firing a delightful 25-yard shot which flew in just under the crossbar.

When the Seagulls responded, Buchel did well to hold onto a low 20-yard shot from Naby Diallo.

For the rest of the half the home side’s high offside line kept the Hawks’ forwards in check.

Buchel was soon in action at the start of the second period, saving a powerful 25-yard drive from Chaz Hemmings.

Within five minutes of the restart the Hawks were forced to replace the injured Oli with Sahr Kabba.

A second goal would provide the Hawks some welcome breathing space, and it almost came after good work from Ciardini.

The attacking midfielder burst forward at pace to find Kabba who fired narrowly past the post.

Scott Jones replaced Nanetti and soon after forced a superb save from the home goalkeeper with a powerful header at a corner.

The Hawks, however, found themselves pegged back five minutes from time when Callum Laird deflected a long-range shot over Buchel.

It was a bitter blow for the visitors, who looked on course for their 20th clean sheet in the league.

In the end it could have been worse for Bradbury’s team when Grubb blasted his shot well wide with only Buchel to beat in the closing minutes.

Earlier in the day, Eastleigh – who visit Westleigh Park on Monday (3pm) – were confirmed as Skrill South champions following their 2-1 win over Basingstoke Town.

HAWKS: Buchel, Strugnell, Blanchett, Ryan, Woodford, Monteiro, Ciardini, Atangana, Oli, Nanetti, Donnelly. Subs: Harris, Kabba, Jones, Przespolewski, Bassele

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