Bradbury frustration as Scott eases Hawks pain

Scott Jones scored a double to help the Hawks earn a point at Whitehawk Picture: Dave Haines
Scott Jones scored a double to help the Hawks earn a point at Whitehawk Picture: Dave Haines
Rowan Vine. Picture: Keith Woodland

Vine calling for Gosport to fight to the finish

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Lee Bradbury called for greater consistency from his side as the Hawks came back from 2-0 down at half-time to earn a draw at Whitehawk.

Two second-half goals from substitute Scott Jones earned the visitors a share of the spoils from their Skrill South game at the foot of the South Downs.

But Bradbury believes such a scenario would have been avoidable had his starting XI shown the same appetite from the opening whistle.

‘Our increased desire in the second half got us the point, and in the end I was disappointed not to come away with all three,’ said Bradbury.

‘I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the first half – we were outbattled, outfought and outrun.

‘We gave the ball away in stupid areas and didn’t stretch the game.

‘I had to make changes at half-time and the players who came on had a big impact in the final 20 minutes.

‘We’ve got to start playing for 90 minutes, though.

‘If we play like we played in the second half, consistently, then we’re going to win more games than we lose.

‘Jones, who came on, had a point to prove and made a strong case for himself with the two goals.’

The Hawks, who are still without an away win this season, started the game positively. But it was Whitehawk who broke the deadlock on 17 minutes with their first attack of note.

Jake Robinson received the ball in space on the left and pushed forward before cutting inside.

The winger then picked his spot, driving a superb 25-yard shot past the diving Ross Fitzsimons and into the far corner.

Perry Ryan’s free-kick skidded across the six-yard box as the visitors looked for a way back into the game.

But as the interval approached, Bradbury’s side were still to register a single shot on the home goal.

Whitehawk then extended their lead two minutes before the break, with the visitors’ defence in total disarray.

Michael Boateng drove in a low cross from the right and Sam Gargan tucked the ball in from close range.

Bradbury made two changes at the break, with Jones and Eddie Hutchinson replacing on-loan Pompey forward Ashley Harris and Jessie Kewley-Graham.

And the move had the desired affect as the visitors got the early goal they needed, reducing the arrears five minutes after the restart.

Ed Harris sent a deep ball to the far post to Nic Ciardini and his cross was acrobatically turned in by Jones.

Suddenly the hosts found themselves under pressure and Ciardini had a thumping effort blocked on the edge of the area.

Ciardini then went close to levelling when he outmuscled a defender on the byline, before sending a low drive against the legs of Whitehawk goalkeeper Chris Winterton.

On 67 minutes, Sahr Kabba was sent on in place of Jonte Smith and immediately his pace caused problems.

It was a different game now, with the hosts looking to hang on.

They were out of luck, though, as the Hawks hauled themselves level on 73 minutes – Jones firing home his second of the game from another Ciardini cross.

The visitors finished the stronger and went close to snatching an unlikely win when Hutchinson volleyed just past the upright.

The Hawks now sit 13th in the table.

Hawks: Fitzsimons, Newton, Blanchett, Ryan, Strugnell, Harris E, Ramsey, Kewley-Graham, Smith J, Harris A, Ciardini. Subs: Woodford, Kabba, Hutchinson, Jones, Monteiro