Bradbury’s pride as Hawks clinch big win

Jason Prior, centre. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Jason Prior, centre. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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The Hawks are still gunning for glory following a sparkling 2-0 win at Chelmsford City.

First-half goals from Jason Prior and Wes Fogden proved decisive in keeping the Westleigh Park outfit on track.

With two games left, the Hawks still have a big chance of lifting the National League South title.

They trail Dartford by three points but have a game in hand on their Kent rivals.

Lee Bradbury rated Saturday’s win in Essex as one of the best performances of the season by his troops.

The Hawks boss said: ‘I was standing on the sidelines feeling very proud to be their manager.

‘The players showed yet again they can handle the pressure.

‘Chelmsford is a very tough place to come and we knew this game would present us with a big hurdle.

‘They had won their last five games and at the start of the season were fancied to win the league.

‘A lot of people thought this would be where we might slip up.

‘If we didn’t win we knew it could pretty much finish our chances of the title.

‘Chelmsford made a really hard game of it. We had to be at our best.’

The Hawks made a dream start by taking the lead after four minutes.

Rory Williams whipped in a cross from the left and Prior was on hand to tuck the ball past the City keeper.

In response, Chelmsford launched a series of concerted attacks – putting the Hawks under increasing pressure.

But once again Bradbury’s team showed great resilience – displaying just why they have only conceded 10 goals on the road all season.

Late in the first half, Fogden deflated the hosts with a second goal.

Prior got through and his angled shot was only partially stopped by the goalkeeper.

The ball looped up for Fogden to calmly head past a defender on the line.

After the break, Hawks goalkeeper Ryan Young didn’t have a save to make.

Bradbury added: ‘Our record away from home this season is remarkable.

‘The solid formation we have played has worked very well.

‘We have not conceded many goals and have also offered an attacking threat.

‘More often than not we have dictated play in midfield picking up a lot of second balls.

‘We have also shown a lot of versatility.’

The Hawks now face East Thurrock United at Westleigh Park on Wednesday night.

A win by three goals or more will see them regain top spot.

The destination of the title, however, will be decided on a nerve-jangling final day.

Elsewhere, relegated Bognor slumped to a 4-0 defeat at Oxford City.

Hawks: Young, Williams, Stock, Woodford, Harris, Fogden (Hayter, 90min), Lewis (Carter, 87min), Prior, Tarbuck (Huggins, 87min), Robinson, Rose. Att: 1,160