Nanetti can shrug off Truro brickbats

Christian Nanetti is a constant threat to defences. Picture: Mick Young (122150-04)
Christian Nanetti is a constant threat to defences. Picture: Mick Young (122150-04)
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Hawks attacker Christian Nanetti can expect a hostile reception when he takes the field at Truro City in the Blue Square Bet South tonight (7.45pm).

The Italian-born playmaker scored a controversial winner from the penalty spot on his visit to the Cornish side last season.

Truro were incensed – accusing Nanetti of diving as he burst between two defenders and into the box to earn the spot-kick.

Hawks manager Stuart Ritchie is confident the youngster will shrug off any criticism, though.

‘Christian is a pretty solid lad and not likely to be affected,’ said the Westleigh Park boss.

‘He asks questions of defenders with his low centre of gravity and willingness to take them on.

‘The lad has the ability to slide past defenders and cause them problems.

‘But he now needs to get the ball in a bit earlier at times and be a bit more direct with his delivery.’

The Hawks left it late in forcing a 1-1 draw against Chelmsford City in their curtain-raiser at Westleigh Park at the weekend. It wasn’t until the 93rd minute that Ollie Palmer produced a clinical piece of finishing to earn his side a share of the spoils.

A point was no more than the Hawks deserved.

But Stuart Ritchie was a relieved man after the game as it appeared his reign would start on a losing note.

The former AFC Totton boss said: ‘I had mixed feelings.

‘Although delighted to come away with a point, it was still a bit disappointing because it was a game we should have won.

‘We allowed ourselves to be rattled for 20 minutes after they scored and panicked. It was unnecessary and something we have to learn from.’

To their credit, the Hawks eventually regained their shape and impetus and battled to the end to get their point.

They will be without striker Sahr Kabba tonight, though, after his debut – as a substitute – lasted just 19 minutes before he limped off.

A bruised hamstring is likely to keep him out.

Meanwhile, midfielder Tony Taggart could be set for a recall to the starting line-up in place of the below-par Steve Ramsey.

HAWKS: Masters, Pegler, Newton, Page, Harris, Arthur, Hutchinson, Bailey, Taggart, Nanetti, Moss, Palmer, Jones, Pearce, Hinshelwood, Ramsey, Ryan