Thrilling fightback sees Hawks seal late win

Hawks defender Lee Molyneaux, left    Picture: Allan Hutchings
Hawks defender Lee Molyneaux, left Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Lee Bradbury praised the never-say-die spirit of the Hawks after their second-half fightback earned a 3-2 win against Worthing at Westleigh Park.

The Hawks trailed 2-0 at the break but a barnstorming second-half performance saw them turn the game around.

It was no more than they deserved when Lee Molyneaux fired home the winning goal in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.

‘We did it the hard way and that is a pleasing thing for me,’ said Bradbury.

‘After conceding a couple of freakish goals we didn’t give up.

‘I have never seen anything like their first goal.

‘In the second half we were great and we said during the break the key would be getting a goal back early on.

‘We did that and that put the seed of doubt in Worthing’s mind.

‘The intensity we showed and the running off the ball for each other was second to none.

‘Since I have been at the club, this is the first group I have had who can do that.

‘The players have a great togetherness and never-say-die spirit and that showed.

‘It has to be way up there with one of the best results for me.’

Matt Paterson had a shot blocked inside the area as the hosts made the early running.

It was the Rebels, however, who led thanks to a bizarre eighth-minute goal.

There seemed little danger with the Hawks in possession midway inside their own half.

But when Molyneaux smashed his clearance into the back of Omar Bugiel, the ball rebounded past stranded goalkeeper Ryan Young and into the net from 40 yards.

The Rebels were attacking with pace and Bugiel forced a low one-handed save from Young.

On 32 minutes, the visitors extended their lead after Ryan Woodford was penalised on the edge of his area.

Young was left wrong-footed when Lloyd Dawes’ fiercely-struck shot deflected off the defensive wall and into the net.

The home side got back into the game two minutes after the restart with a Jason Prior strike.

Prior drove a low shot through a crowded goalmouth into the corner of the net when the visitors failed to deal with a Rory Williams cross.

Paterson and George Barker then wasted two glorious chances to put the Hawks on level terms.

The pair made up for their misses, though, when they combined to engineer a 65th-minute equaliser.

Paterson showed good perseverance in the final third to win the ball back and then play in Barker, who scored with a shot across the goalkeeper.

The Hawks were in the ascendancy and Paterson went closest with a drive that shaved the wrong side of the post.

Then, in a dramatic finish the visitors were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time and Molyneaux pounced to grab the winning goal.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Williams, Robinson, Woodford, Molyneaux, Swallow, Lewis, Prior, Paterson, Barker.

Subs: Hayter, Stock, Rutherford, Fogden, Tarbuck.

n Bognor were indebted to a fine goalkeeping display from defender Gary Charman as he donned the gloves in last night’s 1-1 draw with Burgess Hill.

Dylan Barnett’s late free-kick earned the Rocks a point after midfielder James Crane had earlier missed a penalty to level the scores.