Impressive fightback from Hawks pleases Bradbury

Ben Swallow. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Ben Swallow. Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Lee Bradbury regarded the Hawks’ 2-2 National South draw at Maidenhead United as a bittersweet experience.

A disastrous opening 20 minutes saw left them trailing by two goals and staring at yet another away defeat.

They have only won once away from home all season and another disappointing away day looked on the cards.

This time, however, Bradbury’s team showed they are up for the fight.

Scott Donnelly reduced the arrears before the break and Ben Swallow curled in a stunning equaliser midway through the second half.

In the end, it was the Magpies who were holding on for the draw.

‘When we went two goals down after 18 minutes I would have given my right arm for a point,’ said Bradbury.

‘At the end, though, we were bitterly disappointed not to come away with all three.

‘After the opening 20 minutes we dusted ourselves down and dominated the game.

‘Once we got to grips with the conditions we were much the better team.

‘We hit the woodwork twice and their goalkeeper pulled off a couple of outstanding saves.

‘There was only one team going to win it in the second half and that was us.’

The Hawks started the game playing up the considerable York Road slope with a strong wind in their faces.

During the opening period they failed to cope with the conditions and were punished twice by the Magpies.

On nine minutes ex-Hawks duo Josh Huggins and Ben Wright combined to put the home side ahead.

Huggins delivered a pin-point cross from the right and Wright got in ahead of Jack Whatmough to head home.

On 21 minutes the Magpies extended their lead when a Dave Tarpey shot took a cruel deflection to wrong-foot keeper Ryan Young.

The Hawks responded well and Donnelly scored in the 35th following a super move.

After the break the Hawks dominated and on 65 minutes Swallow grabbed the deserved equaliser.

Young picked him out with a superb throw to launch a counter-attack and Swallow ran from half-way, cut inside two defenders, and curled an unstoppable equaliser into the net.

The Hawks boss is in no doubt his team should have gone on to secure the victory.

‘We had the bit between the teeth and gave it everything,’ said Bradbury.

‘Swallow hit the woodwork again and their goalkeeper pulled off a couple of excellent saves.

‘Most importantly we showed that we are not prepared to lay down and die.

‘We rolled our sleeves up and all the players worked hard for each other.

‘It should have been three points though.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Cummings, Stock, Whatmough, Hill, Swallow, Donnelly, Mullings, Paterson, Lewis (Ciardini 65).

Att: 707.