Jolly Ollie as Hawks grab vital win

Ollie Palmer, right, puts the Hawks ahead in the first half   Picture: Dave Haines
Ollie Palmer, right, puts the Hawks ahead in the first half Picture: Dave Haines
Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injuries are big concern but defensive errors also worry Hawks

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Ollie Palmer celebrated signing a new two-and-a-half-year deal with the Hawks by scoring twice in a solid 3-0 win over Sutton United at Westleigh Park.

Debut-making substitute Kelvin Bossman grabbed the third six minutes from time to give the hosts three vital points in their quest for Blue Square Bet South safety.

Lee Bradbury named an unchanged starting line-up after the Hawks’ 2-2 midweek draw at Eastleigh.

Sutton included ex-Hawks - and Anfield FA Cup heroes of five years ago - Tom Jordan and Richard Pacquette, as well as Leroy Griffiths.

Jordan got on the end of a deep free-kick in the opening minutes but his far-post header lacked power.

When the Hawks got in a tangle clearing their lines, Harry Beautyman’s shot on the turn was deflected narrowly past the foot of the post.

The hosts got into a couple of good positions but were found wanting with their final ball.

On 10 minutes, Pacquette sent a dipping shot just over the top.

The Hawks were finding it difficult to impose themselves in the early stages against the lively-looking visitors.

But they missed a great chance on 25 minutes when Chris Arthur burst to the byline. His low ball flew across the face of goal and the lunging Perry Ryan was inches from turning it into the net.

Simon Downer drilled a 25-yard free-kick over the bar from a good position in front of goal.

The Hawks got the breakthrough they needed in the 38th minute and it was a gift.

Sutton keeper Tom Lovelock was sold short with a backpass and he could only smash his clearance against the on-rushing Palmer.

To the keeper’s horror, the ball rebounded off the striker and back into the unguarded net.

On the stroke of half-time, Masters went full length in the home goal to push away Beautyman’s curling free-kick.

The Hawks, however, tightened their grip on the game with a beautifully-worked 56th-minute goal.

Alex Grant picked out Sahr Kabba with a perfectly-weighted forward ball and the little striker cut inside to slide a neat pass through to Palmer.

The goalscorer kept his composure and rolled the ball wide of the advancing Lovelock for his second of the afternoon.

On 63 minutes, the experienced Eddie Hutchinson replaced Jessie Kewley-Graham in the Hawks midfield.

Bossman was then sent on for his home debut in place of Kabba 16 minutes from time.

Masters made another good save, back-pedalling to tip Rents’ shot over the bar.

The Hawks sealed the win six minutes from time with Bossman side-footing home after Arthur squared the ball to him to seal the points.

Blue Square Bet South

HAWKS 3 (Palmer 2, Bossman)

SUTTON UNITED 0

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Arthur, Grant, Harris, Strugnell, Nanetti, Kewley-Graham, Palmer, Kabba, Ryan. Subs: Hutchinson, Woodford, Hinshelwood, Ighorae, Bossman.

Sutton United: Lovelock, Downer, Rents, Stuart, Jordan, Pacquette, Rivière, Ottaway, Dundas, Beautyman, Williams. Subs: Boateng, Griffiths, Benjamin, Folkes, Sinclair.

Referee: J Busby (Wallingford).

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