That’s the spirit! Bradbury hails tight-knit Hawks

Jason Prior continued his record-breaking form in front of goal. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Jason Prior continued his record-breaking form in front of goal. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Brett Poate scored the opener before he was sent off late on. Picture: Neil Marshall (171026-24)

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Lee Bradbury reflected on another well-deserved away win for his Hawks and declared: I’ve never worked with a more tight-knit squad.

Jason Prior’s 72nd-minute goal was decisive at Bulpit Lane as Hungerford Town were beaten 1-0.

The victory – a sixth on the road in nine league outings this term – saw the Hawks climb to fifth place in National League South.

And Bradbury reckons much of the on-field success is down to the spirit in his squad.

‘This is the most together group of players I have ever worked with,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘It means they are prepared to do that little bit extra for each other out on the pitch.

‘That is important, particularly when you go to difficult places like Braintree and Hungerford.

‘The players have got to man-up and meet the challenge full on.

‘And you can do that better when you know you can rely on your team-mates around you.

‘Hungerford probably gave us our hardest physical challenge so far.

‘They were big and strong but we were prepared to stand up and be counted both individually and as a team.

‘A lot of other teams would have crumbled.’

The Hawks started the brighter but opportunities were few and far between in a goalless first period – with just a couple of half-chances failing to worry Hungerford keeper Lewis Ward.

The stopper had to be alert to deny Prior with a good stop after the break, though.

Wes Fogden had a header cleared off the line before the Hawks deservedly made the breakthrough.

And it was Prior, who extended his record-breaking run for the club by finding the net for the eighth appearance on the bounce.

The striker burst through the home defence before slotting a shot into the bottom corner.

Hungerford huffed and puffed in the latter stages but the Hawks were never seriously threatened.

Bradbury added: ‘We could have won by more. We got ourselves on the front foot and took the game to them.

‘We were unlucky not to take the lead in the first 15 minutes.

‘Hungerford had a good spell before half-time but it was all in front of us.

‘The players have to take a lot of the credit for that.

‘We showed that extra bit of quality and deserved the win.’

Prior is now the division’s joint-top scorer with 12 goals.

The game also saw Ryan Woodford celebrate his 200th appearance for the Hawks.

Elsewhere, Bognor’s troubles deepened as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at Braintree Town.

The Rocks have now slipped into the bottom three.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell (Widdrington, 60min), Williams, Woodford, Harris, Fogden, Lewis (Rutherford, 54min), Prior, Tarbuck, Carter, Robinson. Att: 345