Hawks drop points against St Albans

Wes Fogden is brought down against Hemel Hempstead. Picture: Keith Woodland

Bradbury: There’s more to come from Hawks

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Hawks manager Lee Bradbury was disappointed his side dropped two valuable points in a 0-0 draw against St Albans City at Westleigh Park last night.

The home side were guilty of failing to convert ample possession into goals with the strikers again drawing a Vanarama Conference South blank.

‘We have to start scoring goals,’ said Bradbury.

‘We can’t expect to win anything if we don’t.

‘Once again we have lost possession in and around the box and never really hurt them.

‘We couldn’t break them down and the cutting edge is missing at the moment, which is frustrating.

‘The positive thing is we kept a clean sheet and young Harry Cornick had a very good debut.

‘He was hard-working, quick on the ball and got away from their defenders on a number of occasions.

‘It is disappointing to drop two points, though.’

The Hawks drafted 19-year-old AFC Bournemouth loanee Harry Cornick straight into the starting line-up in place of the suspended Josh Huggins.

The home side almost made a dream start when JJ Hooper hit the post and the ball ricocheted clear off Lee Chappell standing on the goal-line.

Cornick looked lively, firing straight at Joe Welch in the Saints goal before having another effort blocked just inside the area.

Hesitant defending at a long throw left the Hawks in trouble but fortunately John Frendo headed over from a good position.

After a bright opening, the Hawks lost their way and on 26 minutes were indebted to goalkeeper Ryan Young for keeping them on level terms.

A neat first-time ball over the top put Frendo clear and Young parried the ball away diving to his left. The Hawks’ insistence on playing the ball out from the back saw them living dangerously on a couple more occasions.

When Brian Stock gave the ball away it was fortunate for the hosts that Saints were too slow to capitalise on it.

However, Stock almost made amends with a fiercely-struck 25-yard shot that dipped over the bar five minutes before the break.

Ben Swallow sent a wicked ball across the face of the visitors’ goal as the Hawks looked to pick up the tempo at the start of the second half.

They still struggled to make any impact up front but should have gone in front on the hour.

Cornick and Ben Wright combined superbly to carve open the visitors’ defence but the former saw his goal- bound shot blocked.

The loose ball fell to Swallow who hit the outside of the upright from a tight angle.

Boosted by their near miss, the home side began to put Saints under sustained pressure but still couldn’t make it count.

When the Hawks stepped up the pace again Brian Dutton sent a header bouncing harmlessly to the keeper from a good position.

A frustrating evening was summed up a minute before full-time when Donnelly badly over-hit a free-kick from an excellent position just outside the area.

HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Cummings, Stock, Dutton, Harris, Swallow, Donnelly, Wright, Hooper, Cornick. Subs: Connell, Bubb, Ryan, Blanchett, Mullings

ST ALBANS CITY: Welch, Hall, Chappell, Beckles, Locke, Gayle, Gorman, Kaloczi, Frendo, Wales, Lowe. Subs: Malcolm, Smith, Taylor, Soetan