Bradbury proud as Hawks trio silence critics
Lee Bradbury hailed the resilience of his defenders as the Hawks powered to a 3-1 win at Folkestone Invicta in the Ryman League premier division on Saturday.
The back three had come under the microscope following their first-half meltdown in the 3-1 home defeat by Needham Market last time out.
However, Ed Harris, Lee Molyneaux and Ryan Woodford showed all their experience to bounce back with a fine performance in Kent.
‘It was important we didn’t let last week rock our confidence,’ said Bradbury, whose side remain in third spot.
‘Yes, the players were down about what happened but they didn’t allow it to affect their game.
‘Some people questioned whether they were good enough after the last game but they answered those critics.
‘They are experienced lads at the back, all having played more than 250 games at this level and higher.
‘We looked at things in training, worked hard and they went out and put the ideas into practice.
‘As a result we looked very solid at the back and it took a worldie to break them down.
‘People can’t forget we still boast the best defensive record in the league.’
The Hawks also possess the best away record – with the latest success making it nine wins on the road.
It is a total turnaround from last season when they could not buy an away win.
The Hakws took the game by the scruff of the neck and dominated the opening 45 minutes.
Theo Lewis gave them the lead after only four minutes – firing in a low shot from the edge of the area after a Brian Stock free-kick was half cleared.
Lewis then teed-up Alfie Rutherford to make it 2-0 in the 31st minute.
Folkestone hit back against the run of play on the stroke of half-time when Sam Hasler crashed an unstoppable free-kick in off the angle of bar and post.
Bradbury added: ‘We could have had three keepers between the posts and still wouldn’t have stopped it.
‘I still felt it was one of our best first 45 minutes of the season.
‘Folkestone came at us at the start of the second period – showing more energy.
‘During that spell, though, we dealt with them well.’
The Hawks were then gifted a third goal in the 62nd minute when home keeper Tim Roberts struggled to deal with a back-pass.
This allowed substitute Matt Paterson in for an easy close-range finish.
The Hawks easily saw the game out to collect another three points towards their bid for the title.
‘I am happy to be where we are at this stage,’ said Bradbury.
‘We are creating lots of chances and on Saturday we looked very sound defensively.’
Hawks: Young, Molyneaux, Harris, Woodford, Williams, Stock, Carter, Lewis (Hayter, 78min), Rutherford (Paterson, 46min), Prior (Fogden, 61min), Tarbuck. Att: 415