Bradbury praises Hawks’ character

Alex Grant, left, celebrates his goal with Chris Arthur, right. Picture: Dave Haines
Alex Grant, left, celebrates his goal with Chris Arthur, right. Picture: Dave Haines
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Lee Bradbury praised the Hawks’ character as they battled back to draw 1-1 with Dover last night.

After Saturday’s game was abandoned, the rematch was always going to be a tougher test for the Westleigh Park hosts.

But they showed their mettle as Alex Grant deservedly cancelled out Harry Ottaway’s opener to earn a Blue Square Bet South point.

Bradbury said: ‘It was always going to be tougher last night and Dover proved very hard to break down.

‘We made a disappointing start, conceding an early goal, but showed good character to come back against one of the strongest sides in the league.

‘It is a good point for us and continues our good run.

‘The surface was better but I was disappointed with our final ball in and around the box.

‘Alex Grant deserved the equaliser because he has done great for us since coming from Pompey.

‘Now we want to go on and win our last two games of the season.’

With Perry Ryan injured, Steve Ramsey moved back into midfield and Chris Arthur returned on the flank.

Meanwhile, keeper Dan Thomas was given a rare outing in place of Clark Masters who was ill.

After the explosive ending to the abandoned game between the two sides at the weekend, when the Hawks were 1-0 up – the opening stages proved quiet.

And it was the visitors who drew first blood after nine minutes when Daryl McMahon crossed to the near post for Ottaway to head home.

Dover were looking far more dangerous this time around and the Hawks were making little headway.

But when they gradually began to impose themselves, Eddie Hutchinson glanced a header across goal and Christian Nanetti drilled a low shot narrowly wide.

Ed Harris went even closer on 35 minutes – sending a header crashing against the top of the crossbar from an Arthur corner.

Five minutes later the Hawks were level – as full-back Grant timed his run perfectly to meet another Arthur corner and plant his header past the keeper from six yards.

Thomas then beat out McMahon’s vicious 25-yard drive at the start of the second half and though Billy Bricknell netted the rebound he was offside.

There was little to choose between the two sides for the rest of the contest.

Sahr Kabba blasted the Hawks’ best chance over – after beating two Dover defenders to get his shot off.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Michael Kamara and Ben May were both off target as the visitors eyed a winner.

Hawks: Thomas, Newton, Grant, Hutchinson, Harris, Gotta, Nanetti, Ramsey, Palmer, Kabba, Arthur. Subs: Strugnell, Bossman, Monteiro, Jones, Weekes.

Dover: Walker, Kamara, Wynter, Thomson, Simpemba, Stirling, McMahon, Harrington, May, Ottaway, Ademola. Subs: Willock, Bricknell, Webb, Sessengon, Raggott.