Lee Bradbury buoyed by Hawks improvement

Godfrey Poku. Picture Ian Hargreaves (151856-07)
Godfrey Poku. Picture Ian Hargreaves (151856-07)
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What a difference a week makes.

The mood in the Hawks camp after their confident 3-1 win over Maidenhead United at Westleigh Park on Saturday was in stark contrast to that at Margate just seven days ago.

Hawks celebrate. Picture Ian Hargreaves (151856-04)

Hawks celebrate. Picture Ian Hargreaves (151856-04)

The huge sense of disappointment and despondency felt in Kent was replaced with renewed belief.

Following the impressive 3-1 win at Oxford City in midweek, the Hawks gave further evidence they are starting to turn the corner.

Manager Lee Bradbury admitted something needed to be done after the second-half debacle at Margate.

‘I came away knowing I could not keep waiting for everything to be okay,’ he said.

‘We had got to the point where things were obviously not okay and changes were needed.

‘I brought in a couple of loan signings and they have given us a big lift.

‘As a team we looked more organised, covered more ground and worked a lot harder. It is not just the starting 11 but the whole squad – with two of our substitutes going on and scoring.

‘To be successful it takes the whole squad to contribute.’

Conditions were horrendous for both teams throughout the whole 90 minutes – with constant rain and a sodden playing surface.

Maidenhead struck first after 12 minutes after a mistake in the Hawks defence.

A Warren Cummings pass was cut out and a first-time ball fed striker Jake Reid, who made no mistake with his finish.

Unlike at Margate, though, the Hawks refused to fold and hit back on 24 minutes later through new-boy Godfrey Poku.

Poku, who grabbed a hat-trick on his debut at Oxford, picked up a clearance just outside the area and cracked a low shot into the bottom corner.

The Hawks went on to dominate the rest of the half without adding to their lead.

They deservedly got their noses in front in the 63rd minute when ubstitute Nic Ciardini, back from his loan spell with Lewes, crashed in an unstoppable 20-yard free-kick.

Scott Donnelly then sealed the win in the last minute when he curled in a rebound after Marvin Morgan’s shot was blocked by the goalkeeper.

‘In the last week we have steamrollered two of the best teams in our league,’ said Bradbury.

‘The energy, passion, desire and togetherness which we have lacked at times was there in abundance.

‘We can take a lot of confidence from this.

‘Although, it is vital we keep our feet on the ground and realise it is just two wins.

‘We need to keep dragging the same level of performances out of each other week in, week out to keep climbing the league.’

HAWKS: Young, Medway, Cummings, Stock, Dutton, McCarthy, Poku, Lewis (Donnelly, 79min), Paterson (Ciardini, 24min), Morgan, Hayter (Strugnell, 86min). Att: 550