Key victory shows the Hawks have got the bottle

Scott Donnelly netted two goals for the Hawks
Scott Donnelly netted two goals for the Hawks
Wes Fogden takes on the Sutton opposition at Westleigh Park. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Hawks well beaten as Sutton capitalise on errors

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Lee Bradbury praised the resilience of the Hawks as they recorded a 2-1 win over Concord Rangers at Westleigh Park.

After taking a two-goal first-half lead the home side conceded early in the second half and found themselves under siege for the rest of the game.

They kept chucking the ball into our box and we had to put bodies on the line to keep them out

Lee Bradbury

With Lee Molyneaux and Josh Hill magnificent in the heart of the defence the home side scrapped for everything as Concord went in a search for the equaliser.

The Hawks hung on by the skin of their teeth for the vital three points.

It was an important win, ending a three-game losing run in the Vanarama National League South, though the Hawks still remain in the bottom three on goal difference.

Bradbury was happy with the work ethic and bravery shown by his men.

He said: ‘It was a big three points and we had to work hard for them in the end.

‘Concord threw everything at us after their goal early in the second half gave them a huge lift.

‘They kept chucking the ball into our box and we had to put bodies on the line to keep them out.

‘I thought we were magnificent defensively on a heavy pitch.

‘We showed a lot of bottle and that is what you have to do.

‘This is an important win at a vital time going into the Christmas period.’

On a pitch that cut up badly in places from the start it was the Hawks who took charge in the opening 45 minutes.

Scott Donnelly gave the Hawks the boost they needed by opening the scoring with a superb eighth-minute strike.

The attacking midfielder turned, 25 yards out, wrong footing two defenders before beating Concord goalkeeper Ben McNamara with his powerful drive.

Eight minutes later, Donnelly struck again, this time from the penalty spot.

Nic Ciardini powered into the area only to be felled by a despairing Tom Stephen lunge.

Donnelly, with unerring accuracy, buried his spot-kick deep into the bottom corner of the net.

The Hawks were totally dominant at this stage and could easily have added more goals before the break.

‘We played better football in the first half,’ said Bradbury.

‘In the second half, though, it became one we had to grind out.

‘First and foremost we had to make sure we finished with three points.’

James White reduced the arrears two minutes into the second half with another stunning strike into the top corner.

After that it was virtually one-way traffic.

Bradbury admitted it was a difficult finish to the game.

He added: ‘They battered us in the second half but held out.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Medway, Stock, Molyneaux, Hill, Ciardini (Mullings 71), Donnelly, Paterson (Hayter 89), Lewis, Swallow.

Att: 513