Derby stalemate leaves Hawks boss frustrated

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 reflected on the Hawks’ frustrating draw with Gosport Borough last night and insisted: We will take the positives.

The Westleigh Park outfit kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet against their relegation-battling hosts in the Skrill South derby.

Alek Przespolewski is foiled by Gosport Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore. Picture: Dave Haines

Alek Przespolewski is foiled by Gosport Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore. Picture: Dave Haines

But neither side produced much to shout about in a dull goalless draw at Privett Park.

And Bradbury is keen to move on quickly as his side continue their bid to make a late charge into the play-off picture.

‘I’m happy with a clean sheet but we can play better,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘The pitch wasn’t conducive to the way we play and the ref was poor.

‘It was a frustrating night all round but we will take the positives from it.

‘They are very difficult to play against and we tried to stretch play – going direct – because sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

‘The ball was bobbling around a lot and we were not going to take any chances along the backline.

‘After the break we had a couple of half chances but nothing more.’

Both teams included new faces in their squads – with Borough giving a debut to defender Jack Kerrigan, who has been signed on loan from Reading until the end of the season.

The Hawks had Bournemouth loan striker Aristide Bassele on the bench and they brought Benji Buchel, Warren Cummings, Dan Strugnell, Steve Ramsey and Alek Przespolewski into the starting line-up.

And they almost drew first blood after five minutes when Andy Forbes cleared a Strugnell header off the line.

Ryan Scott then forced a low save from Buchel, who turned his bouncing effort around the post.

Josh Carmichael wasted a great chance for the hosts on 12 minutes when he dragged his shot wide with only the Hawks keeper to beat.

Borough were largely on the front foot, looking to find a way through an in-form Hawks defence.

And as they kept probing, Buchel changed direction quickly to save a header from Scott which was deflected goalwards by Carmichael.

The Hawks were reduced to hitting long balls up to lone striker Dennis Oli – which didn’t trouble Borough.

As the interval approached, Dan Woodward threatened as he burst through the Hawks defence, but there was no-one to turn in his low cross.

A Przespolewski overhead kick was easily claimed by Nathan Ashmore, before Woodward was on the attack at the start of the second half – but his angled drive flew over the bar.

The Hawks made a double substitution on 57 minutes – sending on Pedro Monteiro and new boy Bassele for Strugnell and Oli.

Bassele missed out on making an instant impact when he blazed over the top, before Przespolewski volleyed straight at Ashmore.

It continued to be a scrappy affair, with Hawks duo Eddie Hutchinson and Perry Ryan booked.

A long ball over the top put Bassele clear inside the final 10 minutes.

But while he knocked the ball past the onrushing Ashmore, it rolled wide of the target.

Woodward was then off target for Borough in stoppage-time, before the referee brought an end to the game.

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Kerrigan, Scott, Forbes, Pearce, Carmichael, Smith, Wooden, Williams, Woodward. Subs: Prior, Wilde, Dunford, Igoe, Barfoot

Hawks: Buchel, Newton, Cummings, Hutchinson, Strugnell, Woodford, Ramsey, Atangana, Oli, Przespolewski, Ryan. Subs: Nanetti, Donnelly, Ciardini, Bassele, Monteiro