Great Scott has been Hawks catalyst

Scott Donnelly. Picture: Sarah Standing (143389-9576)
Scott Donnelly. Picture: Sarah Standing (143389-9576)
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Scott Donnelly has been showing the Hawks strikers the way in recent weeks with some deadly finishing.

In the past month, the midfielder has scored one of the most spectacular goals of his career – the winner against Weston-super-Mare – and one of his scruffiest – the midweek effort against Weymouth.

He also provided an exquisite piece of skill against Eastbourne Borough that ended with striker Ben Wright opening his Hawks account.

All that before earning an important Vanarama Conference South point by netting superb leveller at Hemel Hempstead on Saturday.

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury believes Donnelly is blossoming this season and starting to display the vast array of skills he has in his locker.

‘Scott has great technigue and possesses great vision,’ said the Westleigh Park manager.

‘He delivers fantastic cross-field passes to get us moving forward and is capable of good finishing from distance.

‘I think he is getting better and better as he gets fitter.

‘He spots the pass that lots of people might be able to see but are unable to deliver.

‘His ability to hit a pass 60 or 70 yards on the half-volley and put it on the spot is terrific.

‘He is a great striker of a dead ball, too, and scores important goals.

‘Scott is an underrated midfielder and since Brian Stock has come in they have forged a good partnership.

‘The pair bounce off each other, fully understand the role of central midfielder and have been a catalyst for the way we have been playing this season.’

Donnelly provided the key to unlock the massed Weston-super-Mare defence with a super strike.

When the Seagulls could only half-clear a corner, the ball fell to Donnelly 25 yards out and he sent an unstoppable drive arrowing into the top corner.

That was one of the best long-distance strikes seen at Westleigh Park for a long time.

Donnelly’s midweek effort from even further out against Weymouth was less impressive.

But at least he had the decency to cover his head with his arms in embarrassment when the visiting keeper allowed a scuffed effort to bounce through his arms and into the net.

They all count, though, and after another fine strike against Hemel Hempstead on Saturday, Donnelly has taken his tally to eight for the season.

Arguably, his finest moment came against Eastbourne.

When the opposition keeper strayed slightly off his line, Donnelly left him rooted to the spot with a perfectly-weighted chip.

And although he was denied by the underside of the crossbar, Wright was on hand to knock in the rebound for his first goal since arriving from Eastleigh.

Bradbury will be looking for more of that quality over the important Christmas period – with the Hawks looking forward to derbies Gosport Borough on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

First up, though, is a Portsmouth Senior Cup tie against Horndean at Five Heads Park tonight (7.45pm).