LEE BRADBURY took his Hawks players off the pitch two minutes from the end of their goalless friendly at Hungerford Town last night amid safety fears.
‘Skipper Ed Harris was deliberately elbowed across the forehead and had to go to hospital for stitches,’ said the Hawks boss.
‘I feared for my players’ safety in what was supposed to be a friendly.
‘Player safety is paramount and I decided to call my players off and the game was abandoned.
‘It was supposed to be a friendly but turned out to be quite an aggressive game with a number of bad challenges.
‘In a normal game there would have been at least a couple of red cards and it was all so unneccesary.’
Meanwhile, Bradbury’s plans for the new season have been dealt a blow with the news Dennis Oli will not be returning to the club next season.
The striker had agreed terms and was due to sign before last night’s abandoned game at Bulpit Lane.
Instead, Oli rang Bradbury in the morning to inform him he had received a better offer from Conference South new boys Hemel Hempstead.
The offer of a two-year deal and the fact the Hertfordshire club is closer to his home led Oli to have a change of heart.
‘I am bitterly disappointed,’ said Bradbury.
‘We had agreed a deal with the player and basically we have been gazumped at the last minute.
‘I can understand why he has made the decision for himself and his family.
‘It is a bitter blow because we were looking forward to having him back alongside Bradley Bubb.’
Bradbury is hoping to persuade fellow striker Scott Jones to stay at the club.
Wessex League premier division side Newport have announced he is to join them.
But for the moment Jones remains a Hawks player.
‘I am hoping the matter can be resolved in the next 48 hours,’ said Bradbury.
– KEVIN RICKETTS