Demolition job puts title in Hawks’ grasp

Rory Williams was on the mark for Hawks on a night to savour. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Rory Williams was on the mark for Hawks on a night to savour. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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THE HAWKS moved back to the top of the league with a thumping 6-1 win against East Thurrock United at Westleigh Park.

A nervy first half from the home side led to them going in level 1-1 at the break.

But a blitz of five goals in the final 30 minutes saw Lee Bradbury’s men take the initiative in the National League South with just one game left to play.

Bradbury was brimming with pride at his ‘rampant’ side and felt it was the kind of performance they’ve been threatening.

He said: ‘I felt something like this has been coming for five or six weeks.

‘We have made lots of chances in games without taking them.

‘In the first half we looked a little bit nervous on the ball because of what was at stake.

‘Once we got the second goal you could see the belief flooding back into the team.

‘It lifted us and we were rampant after that. Our finishing in the later stages was ruthless and clinical.

‘We have given ourselves a great opportunity but can’t get too far ahead of ourselves.

‘There is a job still needed to be done against Concord on Saturday.’

The Hawks made one change from the side that won at Chelmsford City.

Former Pompey striker Matt Tubbs replaced Andreas Robinson who dropped to the bench.

Home hopes were boosted by the presence of Wes Fogden.

The attacking midfielder recovered from his heavy collision with the advertising hoardings in the last game.

Needing to win by three clear goals to take over at the top the Hawks quickly set about searching for an early breakthrough.

The goal arrived in the 17th minute following a superbly executed free-kick.

Tubbs rolled the ball across the face of the area and Williams crashed his first time shot into the net.

Disaster struck on 33 minutes, though, when a Reece Harris shot deflected off Ryan Woodford and past goalkeeper Ryan Young for an equaliser.

The goal looked to have unnerved the Hawks who looked very tentative.

But nerves were settled for the Hawks on the hour when Lewis headed them back in front from a Brian Stock free-kick.

Suddenly the home side looked as if they could go on and score the goals they needed.

On 75 minutes a Prior cross whipped in from the right was turned into his own net by a visiting defender.

The Hawks were rampant and two minutes later Prior got on the end of a left-wing cross to fire home first time.

Six minutes from the end Lewis headed in the Hawks fifth goal.

The Hawks were then in dreamland when Prior notched their sixth goal a minute from time.