Delight for Bradbury as dynamic duo inspire Hawks

Bradley Bubb netted two for the Hawks
Bradley Bubb netted two for the Hawks
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Lee Bradbury’s surprise swoop into the transfer market paid instant dividends with the Hawks claiming a 5-0 Vanarama Conference South win at Farnborough on Saturday.

Midfielder Brian Stock and striker Alan Connell went straight into the starting line-up at Cherrywood Road after signing on Friday morning.

And the duo inspired the Hawks to a comprehensive win against their Hampshire rivals.

It was only four months ago that Stock was helping fire Burnley into the Premier League, while Connell tasted League Two play-off glory with Bradford City last year.

And Bradbury now hopes the pair will spur the Hawks on to greater things.

After suffering four defeats in the opening six games of the campaign, the Westleigh Park boss knew action was needed.

Missing out on the play-offs on goal difference last season left him hurt and determined to succeed this time around.

On the evidence of the early games that wasn’t looking likely.

Bradbury moved quickly to address the problem, though.

And the quality of the new arrivals has certainly signalled the manager’s intentions.

‘Both new players had a big part to play in our win,’ he said.

‘They looked a step ahead of a lot of their counterparts and are a couple of big signings for us.

‘I believe they could prove to be the final parts of the jigsaw.

‘It was evident from our games so far this season that we needed a bit more experience in the middle and up top.

‘They brought us that calm and knowhow.

‘They are still not fully fit and will get sharper and better. But I believe they can make a big difference.’

The Hawks broke the deadlock on 17 minutes when Scott Donnelly’s 20-yard free-kick deflected off the top of Farnborough’s defensive wall into the top corner of the net.

Within four minutes, Bradley Bubb was celebrating his return from injury with his first league goal of the season.

The home keeper kept out a Josh Huggins effort but Bubb fired home the rebound.

Five minutes into the second half, the striker grabbed his second to kill off any hopes Farnborough had of a comeback.

The pacy forward latched onto a long through ball and poked his shot past the advancing keeper.

Substitute JJ Hooper then completed the demolition with two late goals for the Hawks.

First he fired a thunderous 25-yard effort into the top corner before adding a well-taken finish in stoppage -time.

‘Brian Stock set up the final goal with a wonderful piece of vision,’ said Bradbury.

‘He quickly weighed up the situation and played a wonderful ball around the corner.

‘We never looked in any danger after taking the lead.

‘But we musn’t get too excited because it is just one win and one small step.

‘What we need to do is go out there and produce the same level of performance consistently.

‘If we can do that then we have the quality in our squad to push for the play-offs.’

HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Cummings, Stock, Dutton, Harris, Ciardini (Blanchett), Donnelly, Bubb (Hooper), Connell (Swallow), Huggins. Subs not used: Woodford, Mullings. Att: 621.