Bradbury: Hawks were too professional for rivals

Sahr Kabba is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring his first goal. Picture: Dave Haines
Sahr Kabba is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring his first goal. Picture: Dave Haines
Theo Lewis scored for the Hawks in the 38th minute at Wealdstone. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Good show on the road as Hawks impress to beat Wealdstone

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Lee Bradbury praised the Hawks for their ‘professional’ performance after crushing Basingstoke Town 4-1 at Westleigh Park.

Two Sahr Kabba goals, an own goal and another from Chris Arthur helped the home side complete the Blue Square Bet South double over their Hampshire rivals.

But while it proved comfortable in the end, the Dragons put up strong resistance and the Hawks had to graft for the victory.

‘The lads had to work hard on a difficult playing surface,’ said boss Bradbury.

‘We had to change our game plan a bit but I thought we were very professional playing in the right areas.

‘I felt we were far too quick and powerful for Basingstoke to handle.

‘Before the game we spoke about the importance of scoring first and it was really pleasing to get the early goal.

‘That helped relax us and after that I always thought we were going to be the only winners.’

Midway through the first half, the Hawks broke the deadlock.

After a lively Basingstoke opening, the home side netted twice in three minutes to take control.

Chris Arthur made ground down the left and his ball into the area picked out Kabba.

And the striker had the time and space to prod his shot past Ashley Bayes in the visitors’ goal.

Ollie Palmer then cut into the area from a good position on the right and fired the ball across goal.

Bayes appeared to have it covered until ex-Hawk Jay Gasson stuck out a leg and diverted it past his own keeper and just inside the near post for an own goal.

The Dragons refused to cave in, though, and they hit back on 27 minutes when Shaun McAuley lashed a shot into the roof of the net after a deflected pass fell to him in the area.

Earlier in the season that would have been the signal for the Hawks to capitulate.

But now, under Bradbury, it simply spurred them on.

It wasn’t long before they restored their two-goal advantage.

After robbing the visitors on half-way, Arthur and Kabba exchanged passes before the former rifled an excellent shot across Bayes into the corner from 15 yards.

After the break, the Hawks failed to regain their control and for long periods Basingstoke made most of the running.

Bradbury said: ‘Basingstoke were forced to gamble a bit more and got onto the front foot.

‘They put a lot of balls into our box but I felt we dealt with it well.

‘We knew the longer the game went on the more open they would leave themselves.’

And so it proved, as substitutes Steve Ramsey and Scott Jones linked up to provide Kabba with an easy tap in for his second goal in injury time.

HAWKS: Masters 7, Newton 8, Grant 7 (Ramsey 7, 37mins), Hutchinson 7 (Ryan 80mins), Harris 7, Strugnell 8, Nanetti 7 (Jones 80mins), Kewley-Graham 7, Palmer 7, Kabba 8, Arthur 7. Sub not used: Pearce, Hinshelwood. Att: 635