Great Scott sinks stubborn Weston

Alan Connell and former Hawks skipper Tom Jordan, right. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143301-1010)
Alan Connell and former Hawks skipper Tom Jordan, right. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143301-1010)
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The Hawks showed little sign of any FA Cup hangover with a well-deserved 1-0 Vanarama Conference South win over Weston-super-Mare at Westleigh Park.

Scott Donnelly’s 55th-minute strike was enough to down the Seagulls, who arrived on the south coast with limited ambitions.

Bradbury’s team found themselves facing the task of unlocking opponents whose game plan consisted of a massed defence and counter-attacking football.

After a goalless first-half, the Hawks needed a special bit of magic to break the deadlock and in the end it was Donnelly who provided it in some style.

‘I felt we were very professional in the way we approached the game,’ said Bradbury.

‘We had to be patient because they came to frustrate us and were hard to break down.

‘It took a fantastic goal from Scott Donnelly to beat them.

‘I am delighted by the attitude shown by the players because the danger was after our big FA Cup game against Preston things could fall a bit flat.

‘We kept our standards high and I thought we performed well. Weston played very narrow with a lot of protection behind the ball and our attacks kept breaking down on the edge of their box.

‘It was the final decision or final pass that wasn’t quite right.

‘We had chances and always felt a goal would come.’

The opening 45 minutes were frustrating for the home side as wave after wave of attacks broke down in the final third.

The visiting defence, superbly marshalled by former Hawks captain Tom Jordan, fought a terrific rearguard action.

Ben Swallow again impressed on the right, taking on the defenders and sending a stream of crosses into the area.

Alan Connell, Donnelly and defender Ed Harris all went close.

But the decisive moment of the game arrived 10 minutes into the second half.

A Seagulls clearance fell to Donnelly 25 yards out and the midfielder arrowed an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

‘I don’t think any goalkeeper would have been able to stop that,’ said Bradbury.

‘Scott has shown he is capable of doing that before.

‘When a team camp in front of goal – like Weston did – you need something like that to make the difference.’

All the time the Hawks led by just one goal, they remained nervous.

They had chances to ease their nerves but failed to make them count.

And at the death they survived a free-kick on the edge of their own area which was sent whistling past the upright.

It would have been a travesty, though, if the Hawks had failed to take anything but all three points.

The only dampener on the performance was another three yellow cards for Brian Stock, Warren Cummings and Ed Harris.

‘I thought we were worthy winners and should have won by more,’ said Bradbury.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Cummings (Blanchett, 71min), Stock (Ryan, 60min), Dutton, Harris, Swallow, Donnelly, Hooper, Connell, Huggins (Ciardini, 60min). Subs not used: Bubb, Mullings

Att: 557