Hawks keep their cool to go top of table

Theo Lewis was on target for the Hawks at Canvey Island. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland.
Theo Lewis was on target for the Hawks at Canvey Island. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland.
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Two-goal Theo Lewis fired the Hawks back to the top of the Ryman Premier as they beat Canvey Island 2-1 in Essex.

Lee Bradbury’s side fell behind on 12 minutes, but Lewis headed them level before the break.

On 69 minutes the midfielder then picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and lashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The result increases the pressure on title-chasing rivals Bognor, who host Harlow Town today in their bid to grab top spot back off the Hawks.

Boss Lee Bradbury praised his side’s spirit.

He said: ‘The players showed they were real fighters today.

‘We came from behind to win against a team who had won nine of their last 11 games.

‘In all honesty, we could have been 5-1 up at half-time.

‘But when you go behind against the run of play and then miss a penalty, you start to wonder if it is going to be your day.

‘The players, though, didn’t let that bother them and kept knocking on the door.

‘Theo Lewis scored two good goals, the second in particular being an outstanding strike.

‘The win takes us back to the top and puts us in a good position ahead of our game against Bognor on Monday.

‘There is a terrific togetherness and spirit in the camp and we are all feeding off that.’

Both teams went close in the opening three minutes.

Home keeper Conor Gough saved at the feet of Alfie Rutherford, who replaced injured striker Jason Prior.

At the other end, Ed Harris cleared a Martin Gilbey shot off the line.

The Hawks suffered a blow when they fell behind after 12 minutes, with George Sykes heading home a deep cross from the right at the back post.

On 24 minutes, the visitors were gifted a glorious chance to level the score when James Hayter was pushed over inside the area.

The forward’s spot-kick, however, was saved by Gough diving down to his left.

Another chance fell to the Hawks when Gough again denied Hayter and Wes Fogden blasted the rebound over the bar.

The pressure from Bradbury’s side finally told three minutes before the interval, though, with Lewis grabbing an equaliser.

He rose to nod in at the far post after Rutherford had headed the ball back across goal.

After the break, Lewis gave the initiative to the Hawks when he struck again in the 69th minute with a cracking’ long-range drive.

There was a late scare for the visitors, when a low 25-yard shot from Harrison Chatting was almost turned in but keeper Ryan Young made the save.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Williams, Stock, Molyneaux, Harris, Fogden, Woodford, Rutherford, Lewis, Hayter Subs : Robinson, Barker, Tarbuck, Swallow, Carter.