Spot-kicks from Prior help Hawks to victory

Jason Prior scored three penalties to give the Hawks a league win against Braintree. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Jason Prior scored three penalties to give the Hawks a league win against Braintree. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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JASON Prior grabbed a hat-trick of penalties as the Hawks powered to a 3-1 National League south division win against Braintree Town at Cressing Road.

After a goalless first half, Prior scored twice from the spot in the opening eight minutes of the second period.

Substitute Marcel Barrington reduced the arrears, but Prior relieved the increasing pressure with his third penalty 10 minutes from the end.

Jordan Rose replaced James Hayter in the starting line-up, with Lee Molyneaux coming in for George Barker on the substitutes’ bench.

Both teams picked up early bookings in a feisty opening, with Rose going into the book for a seventh-minute foul.

On 11 minutes, Bradley Tarbuck crossed from the right but Prior could not get his volley on target.

Rose then met a corner at the back post, only to send his header wide.

At the other end, Osa Obamwonyi missed a clear chance when he got on the end of a free-kick to send his header over the bar.

Dan Strugnell replaced Rose in the Hawks ranks at the start of the second half.

The visitors took control of the game in the opening eight minutes by scoring twice from the penalty spot.

On 48 minutes Wes Fogden was brought down as he burst into the Braintree area and PRIOR made no mistake with his spot-kick.

Williams almost increased the lead with a free-kick strike that goalkeeper Nathan McDonald parried away at the near post.

Almost immediately, though, the Hawks were awarded a second penalty after Prior was fouled in the area.

PRIOR once again coolly drilled his spot-kick past McDonald and into the corner of the net.

The home side hit back to reduce the arrears in the 66th minute through substitute Barrington.

Oliyide delivered a low cross into the area, and when two defenders failed to clear BARRINGTON was left to tap the ball past Ryan Young.

Remarkably, the visitors were awarded a third penalty on 79 minutes when McDonald brought Fogden down just inside the box.

PRIOR completed his hat-trick of spot-kicks by driving the ball straight down the middle and into the net.