Prospective Pompey loanee Theo Widdrington made an explosive impact in the Hawks’ 4-3 pre-season friendly win at Horndean.
The first-year Fratton Park professional started the move for Jason Prior’s opening goal before crashing home an unstoppable long-range shot for his side’s second at Five Heads Park.
However, Jez Bedford – who featured for the Hawks against Sutton United last weekend alongside his Pompey team-mate – was not involved at all.
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury lauded Widdrington’s performance and feels the 18-year-old can plug the gap in the Hawks’ injury-stricken squad.
He said: ‘I thought Widdrington did well all game and showed why we’re keen to take him on loan.
‘I will be talking to Kenny Jackett in the next couple of days to sort out a deal.
‘Theo showed passing ability, willingness to have the ball and he can score from distance.
‘He has grown in confidence and looked like a seasoned pro - not an 18-year-old playing just his second game for us.
‘We have a lot of injuries in that area (centre-midfield) and he’s shown he’s more than capable of filling the gap.’
Horndean started brightly in the opening 10 minutes but their National League South opponents soon made their quality tell.
On 20 minutes Widdrington picked out Wes Fogden wide on the right with a raking cross-field ball.
Former Blues man Fogden crossed to the far post where Prior steered the delivery into the roof of the net to give the Hawks the lead.
Seven minutes before half-time Widdrington picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and his strike left home-goalkeeper Tom Price flailing thin air as his shot flew into the net.
On the hour mark, substitutes James Hayter and Matt Tubbs combined, with the former Pompey striker firing home.
However, battling Horndean hit back with a 20-yard low drive from Sam Hookey.
Soon after, sloppy defending from the visitors gifted Harry Jackson his first goal for the home side.
Though Hayter got in on the scoring act to make it four for the Hawks, Jackson struck again.
He thrashed home a wonderful 25-yard shot past Ryan Young to bag his second of the game.
Bradbury was pleased with the workout his side got but admitted they were not tight enough at the back.
The Westleigh Park boss added: ‘Horndean gave us a good competitive test, but we were disappointed in the manner of how the first two goals we conceded.
‘However, for the last one, we could have had two goalkeepers and we still would not have been able to keep it out.’
– KEVIN RICKETTS