Delight for Bradbury as Hawks rise to challenge

Scott Donnelly. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151265-152)
Scott Donnelly. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151265-152)
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Lee Bradbury reflected on his side’s National League South triumph over Eastbourne Borough at Westleigh Park and declared: That’s more like it.

The Hawks boss called for a response from his men after they suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Bath City on Saturday.

And he got just that as Scott Donnelly inspired a comfortable 4-0 success over the 10-man visitors.

The midfielder laid on the opener for Adrian Clifton before netting a brace of his own.

Matt Paterson then capped the win in the second half.

Bradbury said: ‘I demanded a reaction from the players and got it.

‘I told them to stand up and be counted, with and without the ball, and they did just that.

‘Unlike at Bath, we showed good energy levels and the desire needed to win football matches.

‘We have a lot of experience in the team and that came out.

‘It was an important win for us and I am really pleased the way all the players put in a shift.

‘We played three forwards and the changes we made came off.

‘When we play like this, we can be a force to be reckoned with in the league.

‘We just need to do it week in, week out.’

Bradbury made four changes to his starting line-up with defenders Harry Medway and Warren Cummings called up, along with strikers James Hayter and Marvin Morgan.

Brian Dutton, Dan Blanchett, Ben Swallow and Nic Ciardini dropped to the bench.

And the Hawks got the confidence boost they needed on 13 minutes.

Donnelly slipped the ball through to Clifton, who kept his composure to finish well across goalkeeper Lewis Carey into the far corner.

The hosts were playing at a higher tempo and Paterson saw a shot from inside the area deflected for a corner.

Playing three up front was giving the Hawks many more attacking options and they were doing all the pressing.

At the back, Dan Strugnell gave the centre of the defence a solid look.

On 29 minutes, the game turned further in the Hawks’ favour when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

A superb move involving Cummings and Paterson released Hayter into the area and he was brought down from behind by Sam Beale.

The defender was sent off and Donnelly calmly converted the spot- kick.

On 34 minutes, Donnelly collected a loose ball on the edge of the box and curled a superb shot into the bottom corner of the net to make it 3-0.

It was a far cry from the poor performance that had seen the Hawks hammered at Twerton Park.

Unsurprisingly, the Hawks pinned Borough back at the start of the second half, too.

Medway was having a field day down the right and from one of his forays, Hayter forced a low save from Carey.

The home side extended their lead in the 57th minute when Hayter slipped Paterson through.

Carey half-stopped his shot but the ball spun beyond him and into the net.

The keeper then denied Donnelly his hat-trick with a fine stop.

Hawks: Young, Medway, Cummings, Stock, Strugnell, Monthe, Hayter, Donnelly, Paterson, Morgan, Clifton. Subs: Dutton, Blanchett, Swallow, Ciardini, Young. Ref: Colin Lymer (Basingstoke).