'I think now we're starting to see the player who came here at the start of the season' - Two-goal James Roberts continues resurgent Hawks form with double against former club Hampton & Richmond

Rejuvenated James Roberts thanked Hampton & Richmond for helping him rediscover his best form after netting twice for the Hawks against the team he turned out for in a brief loan spell earlier this season.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 2:37 pm
James Roberts celebrates after grabbing his second goal in Hawks' victory over Hampton & Richmond Picture: Dave Haines
James Roberts celebrates after grabbing his second goal in Hawks' victory over Hampton & Richmond Picture: Dave Haines

Roberts, Hawks' summer signing from Oxford City, was experiencing somewhat of a drop off in his personal performance level when manager Paul Doswell sent him out for a one-month stint with the London borough club in February.

It's a move which appears to have done the attacker the world of good, with his double in play-off hopefuls Hawks' 3-0 win over Hampton at Westleigh Park yesterday taking him to four goals in his previous five outings for the club.

But after coming up against Gary McCann's Beavers side for the first time since his temporary stint with them, Roberts will not forget what they did to help him get back to the high standards he knows he can produce.

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James Roberts acrobatically fires in his second goal against former club Hampton & Richmond Picture: Dave Haines

‘It's one of those ones where you play the game that's in front of you,’ Roberts said on facing Hampton.

‘I absolutely loved my time at Hampton - I made that clear when I came back (to Hawks from Hampton loan) - I was delighted to be back but, at the same time, I was so grateful to Hampton for the freedom they gave me to refind myself in what's been a really tough season.

‘It's always nice to get two goals, whoever it's against, but nothing but absolute respect to everyone at Hampton.

‘I'm the first to criticise myself, sometimes overly, it hasn't been the best season for me. The number one rule is to work hard, which I'll always do, but the quality maybe hasn't been there at times - I'm happy to admit that.

‘I think now we're starting to see the player who came here at the start of the season off the back of last year and hopefully we can push forward and grab that final play-off place.’

Roberts' double came in the space of four second-half minutes and rounded off the Hawks' victory with six minutes of normal time left to play.

His double came after captain Joe Oastler had grabbed the all-important opener and his seventh goal of the season four minutes before the break.

The victory helped Doswell's men open up a three-point gap between themselves in seventh and eighth-placed Chippenham with two games to play after they were held to a 2-2 draw at fellow promotion-chasers Ebbsfleet United.