Bradbury: Decision was frustrating as we were in charge

Perry Ryan, centre, saw red. Picture: Dave Haines
Perry Ryan, centre, saw red. Picture: Dave Haines
Brett Poate

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LEE BRADBURY was left frustrated by the decision to abandon Hawks’ clash with Dover at Westleigh Park on Saturday.

The home side were leading 1-0 when the contest was brought to a halt on the hour mark – with Dover down to nine men and Hawks to 10.

But by then, events had descended into a farce in awful conditions.

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury wanted to continue, only for his Dover counterpart Chris Kinnear to demand the game be stopped.

The two sides will now have to do it all again on Tuesday at Westleigh Park.

Bradbury was also unimpressed with the tackle on Perry Ryan that sparked a brawl.

He said: ‘Dover wanted it called off because they were down to nine men and losing.

‘It is frustrating because we were in charge of the game and deservedly ahead.

‘The tackle on Perry Ryan was a disgraceful one.

‘That changed the referee’s outlook and got the game called off.’

There was standing water in a number of areas and from the start the pitch cut up badly.

In such difficult circumstances, it was obvious a sensible approach was needed from the players if the game was to be played without any serious incidents.

Unfortunately, that approach did not last.

Dover substitute Steve Thomson produced a shocking challenge from behind on Hawks midfielder Ryan.

The victim of the tackle, understandably, leapt up to try to take instant retribution and players from both teams piled into an ugly brawl.

When order was eventually settled, the referee sent off two Dover players, Thomson and Harrington, and also showed the red card to Ryan as he left the field on a stretcher.

With feelings running high, the referee called both managers to the touchline.

And, after a brief discussion, he brought the game to a premature finish.

Before the violence, Hawks were the team who showed all the desire and determination to win the game.

They dominated the first half and deservedly led at the break – courtesy of a 20th-minute Ollie Palmer goal.

After Christian Nanetti was fouled on the right side of the area, Steve Ramsey whipped in a pinpoint cross for Palmer to head beyond the visiting goalkeeper.

The Hawks, to their credit, still managed to produce some excellent attacking moves, even though the ball was frequently held up in the puddles and mud.

‘The conditions made it a day for application and guts and my players showed that,’ added Bradbury.

‘I am proud of their work ethic and the way they stuck together.

‘We rolled our sleeves up and battled hard for each other against a big strong Dover side.

‘We played some good football on a difficult surface and – even 11 versus 11 – I was comfortable we were going to go on and win the game.’

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Harris, Gotta, Grant, Ryan, Ramsey, Hutchinson, Nanetti, Palmer, Kabba. Subs not used: Bossman, Arthur, Monteiro, Jones.