Bradbury suffers first loss as Hawks boss

Hawks manager Lee Bradbury     Picture: Dave Haines

Hawks manager Lee Bradbury Picture: Dave Haines

Petersfield's Billy Connor. Picture: Malcolm Wells  t

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The Hawks slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Farnborough at Westleigh Park after producing a below-par performance.

Reece Connolly’s 16th-minute goal proved enough to condemn Lee Bradbury to defeat in his first home game in charge.

The Hawks made three changes to the side that won 2-1 at Basingstoke last weekend.

Clark Masters returned between the posts after suspension, Sam Page replaced suspended Ryan Woodford and striker Sahr Kabba came in for the injured Eddie Hutchinson.

Both teams created openings inside the first 10 minutes.

Kabba turned smartly 20 yards out and flashed a low shot past the far upright.

The visitors went close when Nic Ciardini jinked past two tackles inside the area and his goalbound shot was kept out by a last-ditch block by Steve Ramsey.

Ollie Palmer’s surging run then took him through the heart of the visitors’ defence but goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw raced off his line to save at his feet.

Both sides were looking to attack and Ed Harris made an important tackle to deny Reece Connelly inside the area.

Farnborough took the lead on 16 minutes when Dave Tarpey skipped past Perry Ryan to the byline and crossed low for Connolly to turn the ball in from inches out.

When Page fouled Connolly right on the edge of the area, Ciardini smashed his free-kick into the wall.

The goal had rocked the Hawks and they found themselves on the back foot against a dangerous-looking Farnborough side.

The Hawks slowly regained their composure and, from a corner, Harris saw his header clawed away by Bradshaw.

Farnborough continued to threaten and Masters pulled off a diving save to push away Dan Bennett’s angled shot.

Dean Inman headed over from six yards after a free -ick was hammered in from the right.

Farnborough continued to dominate the midfield at the start of the second half.

The home side looked ragged and were almost caught out by a quick counter attack, only for Harris to get back and clear.

Connolly was inches away from grabbing his second goal after Tarpey outstripped Ryan down the right.

The Hawks wasted a good chance when Kabba failed to get proper contact on Nanetti’s superb cross in front of goal.

On 65 minutes the home side made a double substitution, with Scott jones and Jordan Roberts replacing Kabba and Taggart.

Roberts almost made an instant impact, linking with Nanetti before curling a shot narrowly over the top.

Jones had a close-range shot deflected out for a corner and Palmer headed narrowly wide from the set piece as the Hawks upped their efforts in search of an equaliser.

Palmer then had an angled shot beaten away by Bradshaw and went close with another effort that flew over the crossbar.

The visitors reminded the Hawks of their threat when Alan Inns flashed a header wide from a free-kick.

Despite their late flurry it proved too little, too late from the Hawks.

BLUE SQUARE BET SOUTH

HAWKS 1

FARNBOROUGH 0 (Connolly)

HAWKS: Masters, Newton, Ryan, Bailey, Harris, Page, Taggart, Ramsey, Palmer, Kabba, Nanetti. Subs: Pearce, Jones, Roberts, Moss, Hinshelwood.

FARNBOROUGH: Bradshaw, Bosch, Treacher, Inman, Inns, Jones, Bennett, Abalimba, Connolly, Tarpey, Ciardini. Subs: Hammond, Moody, Smith, Huggins, Norris.

REFEREE: R Atkins (London).

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