LEE BRADBURY was glad to see the Hawks bring some home cheer to their fans with a 3-2 Ryman premier win over Hendon at Westleigh Park.
Two successive home defeats had dented confidence but Bradbury is hoping the win will restore the faith.
In typical Hawks fashion, however, grabbing the three points proved far from simple.
Bradbury admitted his team have played better and lost this season.
‘It is good to get back to winning ways at home,’ said Bradbury.
‘The attitude and desire the players showed after falling behind early on was tremendous.
‘They pushed forward and hit back with two goals very quickly.
‘That showed their character and how much they wanted to win.
‘We deserved the win but didn’t make it easy for ourselves by conceding a sloppy goal just before half-time.’
It looked a familiar story when the hosts dominated the opening quarter of an hour only to go behind.
There was little goalkeeper Ryan Young could do as Matthew Ball rifled an unstoppable 25 yard free-kick into the roof of the net.
The Hawks response was as spectacular as the opening goal.
Two goals in four minutes from Bradley Tarbuck and Rory Williams turned the game on its head.
Tarbuck levelled the scores with a well-struck shot across the goalkeeper.
Then Williams showed his silky dead-ball skills by curling his free-kick around the defensive wall and into the bottom corner of the net.
When Alfie Rutherford drilled in the Hawks’ third goal on 27 minutes it looked plain sailing for Bradbury’s team.
A minute before the break though Hendon hit back through Keagan Cole’s six yard header.
The Hawks proved a big disappointment in the second half.
Hendon were allowed to take the initiative and even after they went down to 10 men in the 74th minute continued to carve out the better chances.
Twice Young came to the rescue of the Hawks with two excellent saves.
Williams also rescued them with a goal line clearance from a corner.
‘It wasn’t one of our better games but it was on a difficult pitch,’ said Bradbury.
‘We were a bit flat at the start of the second half.
‘When they went down to 10 men it seemed to spur them on a bit more.
‘They made it difficult for us going from back to front quickly to pin us back a little.
‘The important thing is we came away with the three points.’
With close rivals Needham Market and Leiston both losing the win takes the Hawks into second place four points behind leaders Bognor but with two games in hand.
Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Williams, Stock (Fogden 46), Woodford, Harris, Carter, Lewis, Prior, Rutherford (Paterson 72), Tarbuck.