Bradbury: Hawks can still finish the job

Hawks scorer Nic Ciardini takes a shot for Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks scorer Nic Ciardini takes a shot for Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Lee Bradbury is convinced the Hawks can still get to Wembley after the FA Trophy semi-final first leg against Gosport Borough ended 1-1 at Westleigh Park.

The Hawks came from behind thanks to Nic Ciardini’s goal to ensure the two sides go into the second leg at Privett Park level.

Bradbury admitted his side struggled to come to terms with the conditions and failed to impose their game on the visitors.

‘The pitch was a great leveller,’ said Bradbury.

‘It was a little disappointing but we are still in the tie which is the main thing.

‘The conditions led to their goal when the ball didn’t bounce and slid under our defender’s foot

‘Gosport just parked the bus and made it difficult for us.

‘They had four centre halves in their defence and played ugly.

‘Fair play they came here and got a result and we have to go to their place and do the same.

‘It might suit us a bit more in the second game because they will have to come out and try to play a bit more.

‘Both teams will be going out to win the tie and hopefully we can pass the ball better.

‘Our pitch is in the worst condition it has ever been and it prevented us from passing the ball.

‘The tie is in the balance and there is all to play for.’

Both teams struggled to find any rhythm or pattern to their play in the opening forty five minutes.

Scott Jones pulled a half chance wide of the far post but goalmouth action was conspicuous by its absence.

Nigel Atangana struggled to find his usual flair.

Up front Christian Nanetti proved anonymous and Dennis Oli failed to make an impact.

‘Both teams looked nervous at the start and neither grabbed the tie by the scruff of the neck,’ said Bradbury.

‘We couldn’t really get the flow that we normally have and that was frustrating.

‘Their goal stunned us and it was their only shot on target.

‘To our credit we fought back and scored from a well-worked corner.

‘Then their goalkeeper pulled off two good saves to deny Scott Jones and Ciardini.

‘We have it all to do but I see no reason why we cannot go to Gosport and get the win. It is still game on.

‘The pressure will be on them and we may have to adapt a little.

‘But we will keep trying to play football but maybe have to mix it up a bit.

‘I have a hundred per cent belief that we can still go to Wembley.’