Lee Bradbury: Brilliant response from Havant & Waterlooville to crush Dagenham

Alfie Rutherford put the Hawks ahead. Picture: Chris MoorhouseAlfie Rutherford put the Hawks ahead. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Alfie Rutherford put the Hawks ahead. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Lee Bradbury praised the perfect response from the Hawks as they crushed Dagenham 3-0 at Westleigh Park in the Vanarama National League.

The Hawks boss was thrilled with the display from his team as Alfie Rutherford, Ed Harris and Theo Lewis all scored.

Bradbury said: ‘It was a much-needed win but more than that a much-needed performance.

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‘I got a brilliant reaction from the players after our disappointment at the weekend (loss to Maidstone).

‘I went with the team I thought would be aggressive, hard working and put a shift in.

‘They all did just that. It was a great overall team performance.

‘We worked really hard, closed them down and gave them no space.

‘When we do that we can beat anyone.

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‘This is the minimum effort required now for the rest of the season.

‘If teams are going to beat us we have to make sure they will have to outfight and outwork us.

‘Alfie Rutherford gave us the perfect start and showed what a cool calm finisher he can be.

‘That early goal gave us the belief we needed.’

The home side made four changes to their starting line-up following their 2-0 defeat at Maidstone United.

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Mike Carter and Chris Paul came into the midfield with Harris and Josh Huggins included at the back. New arrival David Banjo wasn’t involved.

Rutherford gave the Hawks just the start they were looking for giving them a third-minute lead. The young striker picked up a forward ball from Joe Quigley and made a run on the outside.

He cut back inside his defender and scored with a measured shot from just inside the area.

Bradbury had asked his team to come out fighting and they were doing just that.

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Olly Harfield fired weakly at goal after Chris Paul gave the ball away badly in midfield.

It was the best chance for the Daggers who had been well contained by the hosts.

Rutherford was looking particularly sharp and he almost squeezed another firmly hit shot in at the near post.

The Hawks went close again when Tyler Cordner saw his bullet header from a corner turned over the bar.

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Cordner was prominent twice as the Daggers applied early pressure at the start of the second period.

The visitors were certainly showing a lot more intent since the break.

For a spell the two teams cancelled each other out.

On 74 minutes the Hawks grabbed the all-important second goal from a corner.

The ball flew low across the face of goal and Harris thundered his shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

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In stoppage time substitute Lewis crashed home a 20-yard shot to complete a great night for the Hawks.

Andreas Robinson and Alex McQueen were sent off at the death.

Hawks: Dudzinski, Strugnell, Harris, Cordner, Huggins, Paul, Carter, A Robinson, Fogden, Quigley, Rutherford. Subs: Woodford, Lewis, Paterson, Rose, Jalloh