Mad few minutes cost Havant & Waterlooville in defeat at Salford City

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury
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Lee Bradbury’s assessment of the Hawks 3-0 Vanarama National League defeat at Salford City was straightforward and simple.

‘They took their chances, we didn’t – we made mistakes at the back and they didn’t,’ said Bradbury.

Apart from that there wasn’t a lot to choose between the two sides for much of the game.

The turning point came midway through the first half when the Ammies scored twice in the space of three minutes.

Unlike at Dagenham in midweek though, on this occasion the Hawks refused to go down without a fight.

Bradbury threw on an extra striker, Nicke Kabamba, at the start of the second half.

This transformed the Hawks as an attacking force and they went close to getting back into the game on a couple of occasions.

Bradbury felt his side gave everything they could in defeat.

‘A couple of minutes of madness in the first half cost us dearly,’ said Bradbury.

‘Giving away one goal was bad enough but to concede another straight after was disastrous.

‘It sucked the life out of us for a little while and left us with a mountain to climb.

‘That was frustrating because we had made a positive start to the game.

‘We have to learn that you can’t afford to give teams like Salford a leg up.’

The Ammies went ahead in the 22nd minute when Danny Whitehead’s lofted pass found Adam Rooney on the edge of the area.

Rooney displayed good control and advanced to slot his shot low past Ben Dudzinski.

Before the Hawks had time to recover they conceded again.

Bolton Wanderers loanee Dennis Politic advanced almost unchallenged to the edge of the area.

Though Dudzinski got a hand to his shot the ball squeezed home just inside the upright.

‘Both their goals were avoidable,’ said Bradbury.

‘In the second half I put another striker on to try to get back into the game.

‘We were the better team in the second half.

‘Their goalkeeper pulled off one fantastic save to keep out an Alfie Rutherford header.

‘We had other chances too.

‘Though we worked hard we couldn’t quite find a way to unlock their defence.

‘If we had managed to get a goal back then I think we might have got something from the game.

‘It would have been a nervous finish for them.’

Home goalkeeper Chris Neal was prominent keeping out good strikes from Kabamba and Jonah Ayunga.

As it was a cracking strike from Whitehead five minutes into stoppage-time made it a flattering scoreline for the high-flying hosts.

The Hawks sit 19th in the National League, they are just a point above the relegation zone.

Lee Bradbury’s men will aim to get back on track when they host Braintree on Saturday.

HAWKS: Dudzinski; Strugnell, Woodford, Harris, Wood (Sekajja 85), Stock, Lewis (Kabamba 46), Robinson A, Tarbuck, Rutherford (Leeflang 90), Ayunga. Attendance: 2,181.