Prior leaves it late as Hawks are crowned champions

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On an afternoon of high drama at Westleigh Park a late Jason Prior goal saw the Hawks promoted as champions of Vanarama National League South.



First-half goals from Theo Lewis and Matt Tubbs put the home side firmly in the driving seat.

But the Hawks looked like they had blown their chances when Concord hit back twice to level the scores late in the second half.

However, at the death, Prior kept his cool to restore the Hawks' lead - and with it hand Lee Bradbury's side the title, despite Dartford's 2-1 win at Bognor.

Jason Prior celebrates his last-gasp winner for the Hawks

Jason Prior celebrates his last-gasp winner for the Hawks

After Wes Fogden thrashed the ball over the bar early on, the Hawks got the dream start they wanted on nine minutes.

Tubbs fired low across the face of goal and Lewis rushed in to convert at the far post.

A minute later it took a goal-line clearance to prevent Brian Stock adding a second goal.

Visiting goalkeeper Louis Wells dropped the ball and Stock’s shot was heading for the roof of the net when it was headed over the bar.

The home side continued to push forward in a confident fashion, and on 26 minutes the party mood increased with a second goal.

Jordan Rose picked out Bradley Tarbuck with a superb ball down the right.

And Tarbuck crossed low for Tubbs to knock the ball in from close range.

Rory Williams had a great chance at the start of the second period but fired against the keeper’s legs.

The visitors then pulled a goal back on 51 minutes.

Home goalkeeper Ryan Young collided with Rose and dropped the ball, leaving Andy FREEMAN to fire it high into the net.

Ben Greenhalgh then gave the Hawks a fright with a free-kick that flashed just past the post.

It was tense with the Hawks knowing they couldn't afford to concede a second goal.

But disaster struck in the 79th minute when a Steve Cawley shot was deflected off Rose and past Young for an equaliser.

With their title chances slipping away the Hawks attacked with urgency.

But with two minutes remaining, Prior got free and tucked his shot past the goalkeeper into the corner of the net to hand the Hawks the title.