Hawks boss delighted as Prior’s on fire

Hawks striker Jason Prior celebrates one of his goals. Picture: Mick Young (161167-07)
Hawks striker Jason Prior celebrates one of his goals. Picture: Mick Young (161167-07)
Bradley Tarbuck has picked up an injury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Jason Prior showed just why Lee Bradbury brought him to Westleigh Park with a four-goal haul in the Hawks’ 5-2 win over Harlow Town on Saturday.

Prior displayed just what a devastating finisher he is with four classic striker’s goals in the Ryman League premier division clash.

Ben Swallow. Picture: Mick Young (161167-15)

Ben Swallow. Picture: Mick Young (161167-15)

His first was a rebound off a defender’s clearance from point-blank range and his second a drilled shot from the edge of the area after he had worked a shooting position.

Prior completed his hat-trick with a stunning first-time strike after a cleverly worked free-kick and the fourth came from the penalty spot.

The striker, who scored 36 league goals with Bognor last season, has now taken his tally to eight for the Hawks.

Bradbury is confident there is plenty more to come from his star striker.

‘Jason is fantastic and scores all sorts of goals,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘He can score tap-ins like he did for his first goal, he can hit them from 25 yards and score with his head.

‘All round he is a real handful for defenders and is on top of his game at the moment.

‘He is big and strong and defenders have plenty to fear from him.

‘Him and Matt Paterson have really struck it off.’

The Hawks were rarely in any trouble after Prior gave them a fourth-minute lead following a Ben Swallow cross.

Harlow found the pace and trickery of Swallow impossible to contain. The winger also set up the second goal on 26 minutes with a pinpoint cross for Paterson to head home.

Although the Essex side hit back with a brilliant 25-yard strike that gave Ryan Young little chance, Prior responded within a minute.

The Hawks totally dominated the second half with Prior going on to add two more goals.

And Bradbury felt the win was well deserved.

‘We started the game brilliantly,’ said Bradbury.

‘To be fair, I thought it was comfortable for us.

‘Overall it was a very good performance and we scored some great goals.

‘We were strong, moved the ball well and played at a high tempo.

‘Our aim is to play with real intent and even after scoring five goals we wanted to go on and get more.

‘The players are hungry to keep doing the right things and that is a good sign for me.’

Prior completed his hat-trick with his best goal of the game just before the hour mark.

Swallow deliberately sent a free-kick low across the face of the area and Prior scored with a brilliant first time shot on the run.

His fourth came with an unstoppable penalty into the top corner of the net.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Williams, Stock, Woodford, Harris, Swallow, Lewis (Barker, 68min), Prior (Hayter, 68min), Paterson, Fogden (Robinson, 68min)