Bradbury: Hawks will soon be firing

Matt Paterson. Picture: Mick Young
Matt Paterson. Picture: Mick Young
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Lee Bradbury remains positive even though the Hawks dropped two vital points against fellow National League South strugglers St Albans City in a 1-1 draw at Westleigh Park.

They were points the home side could ill-afford to lose, leaving them in 18th place and one point above the drop-zone.

It is crucial that we start to put the chances away

Lee Bradbury

Once again Bradbury was left blaming dreadful finishing for his teams problems.

‘We created six or seven very good chances and we should have come away winning the game,’ said Bradbury.

‘It is crucial that we start putting the chances away.

‘We had enough of them today to win convincingly.

‘This result is not ideal because being at home we wanted the win.

‘I take pride in the team and results have not been great for us in the league.

‘The results haven’t reflected the performances, though, and I am not looking at this point in a negative way.

‘We dominated the game again and were easily the better team.

‘I feel once we start converting our chances someone is going to get a real beating from us.’

Looking for their first win in six league games, the Hawks started brightly.

James Hayter crashed a half-volley back off the crossbar.

And Matt Paterson headed wide from close-range.

After 28 minutes, St Albans broke out to hit the hosts with a sucker punch as the Hawks were guilty of switching off at the back.

Harry Crawford was given the time and space to turn on the edge of the area and beat Ryan Young with a shot into the corner of the net.

Hayter dragged the Hawks level in first-half stoppage time.

The veteran striker took advantage of a defensive slip to run on and finish coolly past Joe Welch in the visitors goal.

‘I thought our equaliser would give us the impetus to go on and win it,’ said Bradbury.

Luckily for the Hawks, St Albans were just as guilty of missing their chances immediately after the restart.

Striker Crawford blazed over an open goal and wasted another excellent opportunity soon after.

The Hawks should have won the game in the 61st minute.

But Paterson produced the miss of the game.

He had done all the hard work to go clear inside the area but with just the goalkeeper to beat he shot wide of the far post.

Bradbury revealed the striker knew it was a chance he should have taken.

But despite the miss from the forward, the manager was pleased with the work-rate of the players and their efforts to help ensure the Hawks soon start climbing the league.

‘Matt (Paterson) knows he had a great chance to win it for us,’ said Bradbury.

‘Nine times out of 10 he scores those and he was beating himself up over it in the dressing room afterwards.

‘Our poor finishing cost us but I felt we kept up the application and effort from our recent cup games.’

A big worry for Bradbury, however, could be the injury to central-defender Dan Strugnell.

The youngster limped off to be substituted before half-time and his absence will only add to the Hawks’ ‘defensive woes.

Hawks: Young, Medway, Blanchett, Stock, Strugnell (Thomson 42), Dutton, Swallow, Donnelly, Paterson, Hayter (Morgan 78), Clifton (Cummings 77).

Att: 557