Bradbury salutes Hawks troops after they seal treble

Lee Bradbury and Brian Stock hoist the Portsmouth Senior Cup aloft. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Lee Bradbury and Brian Stock hoist the Portsmouth Senior Cup aloft. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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Lee Bradbury saluted his Hawks troops after they signed off the season with a fine treble.

The Westleigh Park outfit defeated AFC Portchester 3-0 to defend their Portsmouth Senior Cup at Fratton Park last night.

A James Hayter double and a strike from Alfie Rutherford ensured the Hawks clinched their third trophy of the campaign, after landing the National League South title and Hampshire Senior Cup.

Bradbury admitted the Royals matched his side in the first half, as the two teams went into the break goalless.

But the Westleigh Park manager was pleased how his men cranked up the pressure in the second period.

Bradbury believes it was a ‘fitting end’ to a brilliant campaign and feels his players can be proud of their achievements.

He said: ‘It was a fitting end to a fantastic season.

‘It was tough in the first half. Portchester were as good as us.

‘You could see we hadn’t trained for a few weeks, but once we got into it in the second half we dominated.

‘We scored some good goals and kept another clean sheet.

‘Completing the treble is a great way to end the season.

‘It is something the players can be very proud of.’

The Hawks controlled the early stages but the first shot of the game came from Portchester. 

Simon Stone started the move with an interception inside his own half.

He found Steve Ramsey on the edge of the Hawks’ area, whose fiercely-struck volley was beat away by keeper Ryan Young.

Another good move by the Royals ended with Jake Morgan firing over the top of the crossbar.

The Wessex League premier division side were gaining in confidence and Young had to race off his line to foil Dan Wooden.

Bradley Tarbuck went close to breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes with a shot that rebounded off the inside of the far post.

Ex-Hawk player Ramsey was running the show for Portchester in midfield with his incisive passing.

The Royals were proving more than a match for their opponents who will be playing four divisions higher next season.

Twice before the break Alex Baldacchino went within a whisker of putting Portchester in front.

The Hawks made the breakthrough three minutes into the second half, however, after they were out of the traps quickly. 

A good break down the right culminated in Hayter sending a firm header back across goal into the far corner of the net.

After Ramsey had a shot blocked by a last-ditch challenge, the Hawks tightened their grip with a second goal.

Rutherford latched onto a long ball over the top and easily chipped his shot over the onrushing goalkeeper.

A third followed in the 71st minute when Hayter notched his second of the game to wrap up the win for Bradbury’s troops.