Bradbury delight after Senior Cup win

Hawks captain ''Perry Ryan lifts the Portsmouth Senior Cup. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings
Hawks captain ''Perry Ryan lifts the Portsmouth Senior Cup. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Lee Bradbury expressed his delight after the Hawks won the Portsmouth Senior Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

They beat Petersfield 4-2 in an entertaining final held at Westleigh Park.

It was the first time Hawks had entered the competition and Bradbury confirmed they will be doing the same next season.

JJ Hooper got the ball rolling for the hosts, before Liam Kimber and a brace from Jake Gale secured the tie.

Andy Todd and Mike McEnery got the Rams’ replies.

Manager Bradbury was particularly pleased for youngsters such as Marley Ridge, Kimber and Gale, who all made valuable contributions to the Hawks’ cup victory.

He said: ‘I’m delighted to pick up our first trophy.

‘It’s been a really good competition for us.

‘We looked like we were going to win it easily but Petersfield came back at us and we had to work hard.

‘I think we got the balance just right with youth and experience, coming up against a decent side with good players.

‘It was a great learning curve for some of the youngsters who found themselves in situations they’d not been in before.

‘The youngsters did really well and I’m pleased for them.’

The Hawks started strongly and stormed into an early lead after only four minutes.

Ridge was fouled on the edge of the Petersfield area and Hooper curled an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner.

Danny Boyle fired a shot straight at Charlie Searle as the Wessex League premier champions looked to hit back.

Town went close again with Warren Hunt diverting a low cross narrowly past the far post.

After their early setback, the Rams settled down and started to look more comfortable.

Town goalkeeper Matt Shortt made a superb save when danger man Hooper burst clear of the defence.

At the other end, Dan Woodward forced a save from Searle with a 
header from a corner.

The home side struck again four minutes before the break with Gale turning in Hooper’s cross from close- range.

The Rams took the game to the Hawks at the start of the second half and reduced the arrears to 2-1 within six minutes.

A low shot from outside the area fell to Todd, who knocked the ball in from point-blank range.

Woodward glanced a header just over the top as the Rams continued to grow in confidence.

Hooper was guilty of a bad miss from close range, which proved costly because the Rams drew level five minutes later when McEnery hooked home after Searle missed a cross.

However, Hooper made up for his earlier mistake on 77 minutes when he set up Kimber to put the Hawks back in front.

Gale sealed the win for the Vanarama Conference south side with a fourth goal two minutes from time.

It was an entertaining cup final and a fine advert for local football.

Hawks: Searle C, Medway, Blanchett, Wedlake, Searle O, Monteiro, Gale, Ridge, Hooper, Kimber, Ryan.

Subs: Whittingham, Penfold, McCarthy, Atkinson, Knight

Petersfield: Shortt, Woodward, Wain, Thompson, Ford, Hyde, McEnery, Boyle, Todd, Hunt, Lowley.

Subs: Briggs, Howes, Tambling, Eaton, Richardson

Referee: M Lucie