Bradbury hails Hawks after Christmas comes early

Wes Fogden, right, made the first and scored the second for the Hawks. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (171579-10)
Wes Fogden, right, made the first and scored the second for the Hawks. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (171579-10)
Ben Wright is back for Gosport.  Picture: Keith Woodland

Bell: Gosport need to make a big final push

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Lee Bradbury felt Christmas came early as the Hawks romped to a 4-1 win in their National League South visit to Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.

Now he wants his troops to continue their festive celebrations by defeating Bognor at Westleigh Park on Boxing Day (3pm).

The Hawks are second in the table – behind leaders Dartford on goal difference – and one of five teams on 39 points at the summit.

Bradbury regarded the win at Eastbourne as a near-perfect away performance.

The Hawks boss said ‘We have given ourselves a big Christmas present.

‘It was a very strong performance and the only disappointment was the goal we conceded at the end.

‘Apart from that it was the perfect away performance.

‘We took the game to them from the start and scored an early goal.

‘That put us on the front foot and we never really gave them a chance after that.

‘Some of the goals we scored were outstanding.’

The Hawks showed they had no fear of the 3G surface when Theo Lewis put them ahead after 11 minutes.

Wes Fogden got in down the flank and Lewis turned his cross in from close range at the near post.

While Borough had a good 10-minute spell, it was the Hawks who continued to carve out the best opportunities for the rest of the half.

Striker Matt Tubbs replaced injured defender Dan Strugnell at half-time and soon made an impression.

Within a minute he had teed Jordan Rose up for the second.

Rose burst to the edge of the area before side-footing the ball past the Borough keeper and into the net.

Next it was Fogden who showed his class – adding a third with an unstoppable shot across the keeper from the edge of the box.

Tubbs then put the icing on the cake when he expertly turned his defender before shooting home.

The match was already settled when Eastbourne grabbed their late consolation.

‘I couldn’t have asked for any more from the players,’ added Bradbury.

‘Now we have to make sure we make the most of it.

‘We need to back it up with another win against Bognor.

‘It won’t be easy because in derbies form often goes out the window.

‘But it is important we approach it in exactly the same way.

‘Our dressing room is buzzing at the moment and confidence is high.

‘To be second in the table at this stage is remarkable.’

Bognor warmed up for the derby with a 1-1 draw against Poole Town at Nyewood Lane on Saturday.

Doug Tuck came to the rescue with a stoppage-time leveller.

The National League South strugglers had fallen behind in the 65th minute.