Comfortable Hawks hit the spot with fine show

Christian Nanetti. Picture: Dave Haines
Christian Nanetti. Picture: Dave Haines
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Scott Donnelly and Christian Nanetti fired the Hawks to a 2-0 win over Bishop’s Stortford at Westleigh Park last night.

A blistering start saw the home side score twice in the opening 10 minutes.

Donnelly netted from the penalty spot, before Nanetti added the second in style.

The win lifted the Hawks back into the Skrill South play-off places.

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury said: ‘It was a good professional performance.

‘It was certainly the best start to a game we’ve had all season. That gave us a great foothold.

‘After that I didn’t feel we were ever in any real trouble.

‘There was a very positive buzz in the camp.’

Bradbury recalled Nanetti and Donnelly, along with Pedro Monteiro as he shuffled his pack after the win against Concord.

The Hawks had a fifth minute scare when Sean Francis sent a close-range header wide from a corner.

However, Bradbury’s side made the most of that let-off three minutes later, when they took the lead from the penalty spot.

Callum McNaughton tripped Dennis Oli just inside the area.

The referee had a simple decision to make and Donnelly rolled his spot-kick into the corner, with goalkeeper Joe Wright rooted to his line.

It got even better for the Hawks two minutes later, when they extended their lead with a superb solo effort from Nanetti.

The Italian winger jinked his way past three defenders before burying a low shot into the far corner, from just inside the area.

Hawks were rampant and, soon afterwards, a Perry Ryan corner bounced across the face of goal but away from danger.

Nigel Atangana’s quality in midfield, the pace and trickery of Nanetti, and the physical presence of Oli continued to give the visitors problems.

The home side remained in control for the rest of the half, without threatening to add to their lead.

Ciardini sent a 25-yard shot past the post as the Hawks carried on where they left off at the start of the second half.

Donnelly showed the confidence in the side with an attempted lob from 45 yards with the keeper off his line.

Stortford gave the Hawks a warning with a deflected Brian Woodall free-kick which flashed past the post.

The home side made a double change midway through the half, with Aristide Bassele and Sahr Kabba replacing Ciardini and Oli.

With Monteiro and Woodford in commanding form at the back, Stortford rarely looked like getting a route into the game.

Hawks pressed for a third but Kabba was crowded out and Donnelly shot over the top.

But in the end, two goals proved more than enough to seal a valuable victory for Bradbury’s men.

Hawks: Buchel, Strugnell, Blanchett, Ryan, Woodford, Monteiro, Ciardini, Atangana, Oli, Nanetti, Donnelly. Subs: Newton, Cummings, Kabba, Bassele, Hutchinson

Bishop’s Stortford: Wright, Richens, Brown, Francis, McNaughton, Cutler, Costa, Hall, Woodall, Herd, Prestredge. Subs: Baker, Fagbohun, Akurang, Milbourne, Melaugh

Ref: R Hulme (Radstock)

Att: 462