Bradbury buoyed by battling Hawks

Scott Donnelly. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150553-10)
Scott Donnelly. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150553-10)
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The Hawks showed they are made of sterner stuff by battling back for a vital point against Whitehawk at the Enclosed Ground.

Previously this season, Lee Bradbury’s team have crumbled after going behind away from home – most notably at Bath City and Margate.

But on this occasion Scott Donnelly popped up two minutes before full-time to make sure his team took an equal share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Bradbury insists his players are becoming far more resilient in their mindset.

‘The players were determined not to get beaten and that was evident after Whitehawk went in front,’ he said.

‘We found ourselves chasing the game and fully deserved our equaliser.

‘That stemmed from the players being prepared to dig in and make sure they got something from the game.

‘Earlier this season we wouldn’t have done that and might have gone on to lose by more.

‘We showed now we are up for the fight and that is important.

‘Whitehawk is not the easiest place to go and we showed the necessary resilience to come away with a point.’

On a difficult pitch the two sides fought out a cagey first half.

The visitors enjoyed a lot of possession, although it was the hosts who created the better chances.

Jake Robinson’s cross-cum-shot bounced back off the crossbar and Hawks goalkeeper Ryan Young pulled off a couple of good saves.

‘Not too much good football was possible as both teams tried to play the conditions to the best of their ability,’ said Bradbury.

Defences remained on top at the start of the second half but on 68 minutes a rare mistake from Young gifted the Sussex side the lead.

Young chested a poor Josh Hill back-pass straight into the path of Robinson who tucked the ball into the net.

‘Young has been great for us so I am not going to criticise him,’ said Bradbury.

‘When goalkeepers make a mistake it is highlighted a lot more than those of the outfield players.’

In the closing stages the Hawks displayed their new-found bravery by pushing forward in search of an equaliser.

And they got their reward on 88 minutes.

Shamir Mullings headed the ball forward and Donnelly struck his shot past the helpless Craig Ross in the home goal.

‘We continued where we left off in our last game – working a lot harder off the ball,’ said Bradbury.

‘The players realise we are in a relegation battle and it was crucial we got at least a point.

‘It’s no secret we have not been great away from home this season.

‘But the players have started to show more confidence.’

HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Medway, Stock, Molyneaux, Hill, Swallow, Donnelly, Mullings, Ciardini (Paterson, 79min), Lewis. Att: 308