‘Professional’ performance delights Hawks boss

Alek Przepolewski, left, and Sahr Kabba celebrate the third goal. Picture: Dave Haines

Alek Przepolewski, left, and Sahr Kabba celebrate the third goal. Picture: Dave Haines

Lee Bradbury has led the Hawks to the Ryman League premier division title and promotion to National League South. Picture: Mick Young

Hawks clinch promotion as Borough are relegated

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Lee Bradbury saluted his ‘professional’ Hawks after they claimed derby success over 10-man Gosport Borough.

The Westleigh Park boss looked on as his troops returned a 3-0 home victory in the Skrill South encounter.

A fine individual goal from Sahr Kabba put the hosts ahead, before former Hawks defender Brett Poate was given his marching orders.

The full-back’s departure left Borough with a mountain to climb.

And while they put up a valiant fight, Dennis Oli and Alek Przespolewski made certain of the Hawks’ win with two second-half strikes.

Bradbury was impressed with his men, who remained calm while attempting to break down stubborn resistance from Borough on a pitch which had been hit by the recent torrential downpours.

‘On a very difficult, sticky surface, we were well worth the win,’ said the former Pompey striker.

‘It is never easy when a side goes down to 10 men but we produced a professional job.

‘We scored three goals against a team who hadn’t conceded in five matches.

‘Two of our goals were superb individual efforts and it was an important three points for us.’

Bradbury still has designs on breaking into the Skrill South play-off picture.

The derby victory moved the Hawks up to 10th spot in the table.

But while yesterday’s triumph made it eight games without defeat, Bradbury has warned there is plenty of work to do.

Weather permitting, the Hawks travel to Farnborough tomorrow and then face the return against Borough on New Year’s Day (3pm).

Bradbury said: ‘I am targeting nine points in our Christmas games, so this is just a start.

‘Although it will be tough, there is a lot of belief we can do it.

‘We are now unbeaten in eight games and our players are starting to believe they can do something.’

Dan Strugnell replaced the injured Jake Newton at full-back in the Hawks’ starting line-up yesterday.

Meanwhile, ex-Hawks Nathan Ashmore and Sam Pearce were named alongside Poate in the Borough side – with Sammy Igoe on the bench.

Ashmore was quickly in the action, too, as he collected an Ed Harris header.

Poate was then booked for a lunging tackle on Kabba – with Nic Ciardini firing well over the bar from the free-kick.

Tom Dunford was bright early on for Borough – but it was the Hawks who looked most dangerous.

And Scott Jones should have put them ahead, only to side-foot over the top when eight yards out and totally unmarked.

The Hawks shrugged off that miss to take a 28th-minute lead, though.

Kabba picked the ball up inside his own half and burst past two would-be tacklers before evading a challenge from Pearce and burying a low drive past Ashmore.

Jones was then fortunate to stay on the pitch after a late challenge on Poate.

The Gosport defender was not so lucky, though, as three minutes before the break he was sent off for a second booking.

It was no surprise to see Jones replaced by Christian Nanetti at the break.

And as the Italian made his presence felt, Oli fired straight at Ashmore.

Igoe replaced Borough striker Tim Sills in a bid to frustrate the Hawks.

And it worked until Oli burst through the middle to roll as shot past Ashmore on 64 minutes.

Borough striker Rory Williams refused to give up and burst past Pedro Monteiro to fire across the face of the Hawks goal.

But the visitors were now firmly up against it and Monteiro himself flashed a header wide from a corner.

Ashmore produced a marvellous save from Steve Ramsey before – at the other end – Borough substitute Justin Bennett glanced a header narrowly wide.

But it was no more than token resistance as Przespolewski put the icing on the cake three minutes into stoppage-time when he beat the offside trap to slide the ball past Ashmore.

Hawks: Bevan, Strugnell, Blanchett, Ryan, Monteiro, Harris, Ciardini, Atangana, Oli, Kabba, Jones. Subs: Woodford, Cummings, Ramsey, Przespolewski, Nanetti

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Forbes, Poate, Brown, Richardson, Pearce, Dunford, Smith, Sills, Wooden, Williams. Subs: Bennett, Molyneaux, Igoe, Wilde, Barfoot

Att: 776

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