Hat-trick of Hawks wins boosts play-off chances

Christian Nanetti opened the scoring in the Hawks' 2-0 win over Whitehawk   Picture: Dave Haines
Christian Nanetti opened the scoring in the Hawks' 2-0 win over Whitehawk Picture: Dave Haines
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Lee Bradbury praised his Hawks side as they boosted their Skrill South play-off hopes with a 2-0 win over an in-form Whitehawk side at Westleigh Park last night.

The hosts took charge with second-half goals from Christian Nanetti and Scott Donnelly to record a third win in a week and move to within a point of Dover Athletic, who occupy the fifth and final play-off spot.

Bradbury’s team now make the long trip to Chelmsford City tomorrow (3pm) looking for another success that can propel them into the top five.

‘This is a good win against an in-form side,’ said Bradbury.

‘The first half was pretty even and in the interval I asked for a bit more energy and composure on the ball.

‘We came out, moved the ball with a lot more purpose and in the end deserved the win.

‘Once again, we were rock-solid at the back and the whole team worked hard at preventing them from getting any quality ball into our area.

‘It is all to play for now and having got ourselves into a good position it is important we give it our best shot.’

Pedro Monteiro, Dennis Oli and Alek Przespolewski returned to the starting line-up as Bradbury continued to rotate his squad.

Nic Ciardini’s second-minute free-kick was headed powerfully over by Monteiro as the Hawks started well.

Keeper Benji Buchel had to be alert to grab Tom Cadmore’s downward header from a corner soon afterwards.

Dennis Oli then threatened with a typically-powerful run past two defenders which ended with visiting goalkeeper Chris Winterton making a point-blank block.

There was little between the two sides, but on 32 minutes visiting captain Tommy Fraser almost broke the deadlock.

He picked up a throw-in to the left of the area and fired in a terrific first-time volley which bounced off the far post, with Buchel beaten all ends up.

Both teams were getting into good positions but couldn’t find the all-important final pass in the final third.

The hosts made the vital breakthrough seven minutes into the second half.

A Ciardini cross from the right was headed up in the air by Nigel Atangana, and with the visiting defenders hesitating, Nanetti squeezed his close- range shot past Winterton.

Blanchett was forced off following a late tackle to be replaced by Warren Cummings.

The goal had perked the Hawks up and Przespolewski was next to try his luck with a low shot that bounced back off the arms of Winterton.

On 65 minutes, Matt Paterson was sent on to replace the hard-working Oli.

The substitute was denied a goal when Winterton changed direction superbly to keep out his six yard shot.

From the corner, though, the Hawks sealed the points with a second goal.

When the ball reached Donnelly 25 yards out, he curled in a spectacular shot into the net off the inside of the post.

Hawks: Buchel, Strugnell, Blanchett, Donnelly,

Woodford, Monteiro, Nanetti, Atangana, Oli, Przespolewski, Ciardini

Subs: Kabba, Paterson, Hutchinson, Cummings, Jones