Bradbury salutes the Hawks’ character after Oxford victory

Matt Tubbs was at the double for the Hawks against Oxford City.
Matt Tubbs was at the double for the Hawks against Oxford City.
Lee Bradbury and Brian Stock hoist the Portsmouth Senior Cup aloft. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Bradbury salutes Hawks troops after they seal treble

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Lee Bradbury saluted the Hawks’ character as they ploughed through the mud to deliver a 3-2 victory over Oxford City.

Matt Tubbs notched a double and Theo Lewis was also on target for the hosts at Westleigh Park.

As a result, the Hawks moved level on points with leaders Dartford in National League South ahead of their top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

Bradbury was full of praise of his side as they battled through tough conditions to claim all three points.

The Hawks manager said: ‘The big thing was we got the game on and we picked up three points.

‘Once again we showed great character on a very heavy and difficult pitch. By the end, it was like a ploughed field.

‘We had to change our game a bit and play a bit more direct to eliminate the space.

‘Each time City came back at us and asked questions, we answered them.

‘I was pleased with the never-say-die attitude shown by my players.

‘It showed just how much it meant to them.

‘As long as we keep showing the same application we will win more than we lose.

‘It sets us up nicely for a big trip to Dartford on Saturday.’

The Hawks made the best possible start and took the lead after just eight minutes.

Oxford failed to deal with a long clearance and Tubbs latched onto the loose ball and fired his angled shot into the far corner.

In the 31st minute, Bradbury’s side almost doubled their advantage when Lewis headed narrowly past the angle of the goal.

The visitors went close to equalising on the stroke of half-time when Rob Sinclair beat the offside trap but steered his effort wide.

Hawks goalkeeper Ryan Young was called into action shortly into the second half. He was forced to parry away a long-range effort from Matt Paterson.

Oxford kept up the pressure and were level on 51 minutes when Godfrey Poku’s speculative 25-yard shot squirmed through the Hawks goalkeeper’s hands.

However, within three minutes the home side regained the lead.

Carter lofted a ball into the area and Lewis got there ahead of City goalkeeper Luke Sanders to guide his header into the net via the underside of the bar. On 59 minutes City equalised again when Paterson drilled a penalty under Young after being fouled by Carter.

But Tubbs grabbed the Hawks all three points with his second of the game 12 minutes from time.

The former Pompey and Bournemouth striker kept his composure to knock in Andy Robinson’s header at the back post

And the hosts’ job was made easier when Reece Fleet was dismissed late on for a foul on Alfie Rutherford.