Bradbury praises Hawks after derby draw

Christian Nanetti. Picture: Dave Haines
Christian Nanetti. Picture: Dave Haines
Wes Fogden. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Lee Bradbury was full of praise for his determined Hawks team after they earned a 0-0 draw at rivals Eastleigh in the Skrill South.

It was a third clean sheet on the bounce for the men from Havant but both teams went close to winning the contest.

Christian Nanetti hit the woodwork for the Hawks and Ben Strevens responded in kind for Eastleigh.

Bradbury said: ‘I thought we defended really well against a big strong side that try to bully you a little.

‘It was really pleasing the way we stood up to that.

‘I freshened it up with a different formation and new personnel and thought we could have nicked it in the end.

‘We had three or four good chances but I have to be pleased with three clean sheets in a row.

‘In the second half, we tried to be positive by sending Sahr Kabba on.

‘With Eastleigh pushing forward I thought we might catch them with our pace on the break.

‘It certainly gives us something to build on and the squad have shown that they are able to adapt to different situations.’

Bradbury made three changes to his line-up with Kabba, Steve Ramsey and Eddie Hutchinson relegated to the subs bench.

Pedro Monteiro, Nic Ciardini and Perry Ryan, back from suspension, were drafted in for their first starts of the season.

Eastleigh keeper Ross Flitney was forced into a full-length save to push Monteiro’s thunderous shot around the post after four minutes.

The home side hit back with Yemi Odubade drilling a dangerous low cross into a crowded Hawks area.

The Hawks, with the experienced Monteiro sweeping in front of the back three, comfortably kept Eastleigh at arms length in the opening 15 minutes.

It was a scrappy affair with the visitors content to sit back and try to hit Eastleigh on the break.

As the half-hour mark approached Dan Blanchett made an excellent interception on the edge of his area to break up a threatening home attack.

The visitors went within a whisker of taking the lead in the 31st minute.

Ciardini picked out Nanetti who beat his defender on the outside and whipped in a cross which was deflected narrowly past the far post.

Nanetti then went close again with a quick burst of pace and a shot which rolled past the far upright.

It continued to be a tame affair in the opening minutes of the second half with defences on top.

The crowded midfield made it difficult for both teams to create anything going forward.

The game needed a goal and it almost arrived for Hawks in the 61st minute.

Nanetti drilled a superb low 25-yard free-kick against the far post.

Stuart Fleetwood sent a far post header over the top but the Hawks continued to hold firm at the back.

With 30 minutes to go, Kabba was sent on for Monteiro as the visitors went on the attack.

But it was Eastleigh who almost snatched it when Ben Strevens sent a header against the crossbar and Craig McAllister volleyed the rebound straight at Bevan.

Hawks sub Scott Jones lobbed the ball wide in the final minute.

Eastleigh: Flitney, Spence, Green, Collins, Beckwith, Todd, Strevens, Southampton, Odubade, Reason, Fleetwood. Subs: McAllister, Dovey, Dillon, Rose, Wilson.

Hawks: Bevan, Newton, Blanchett, Monteiro, Strugnell, Harris, Ryan, Kewley-Graham, Oli, Nanetti, Ciardini. Subs: Hutchinson, Ramsey, Woodford, Kabba, Jones.

Referee: C Powell ( Poole).