Hawks boss questions bravery of National League referees

Hawks and Salford players react as Ryan Woodford is brought down in the box. Picture: Keith Woodland
Hawks and Salford players react as Ryan Woodford is brought down in the box. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Lee Bradbury blamed weak refereeing for denying the Hawks the chance to record a maiden National League home win on Saturday.

The hosts had to settle for a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Salford City at Westleigh Park.

Bradbury, however, is convinced the visitors should have been reduced to 10 men on 75 miunutes.

Dan Lloyd sent Hawks substitute Alfie Rutherford crashing to the floor with a two-handed push right in front of referee Paul Howard.

But to the surprise of Bradbury and the majority of spectators, the official booked both players.

The Hawks boss said: ‘It was the turning point of the game and their lad should have been sent off.

‘He pushed Alfie and – whether it is in the face or the neck – it was with excessive force.

‘In anyone’s book it is violent conduct. I can’t believe he didn’t send him off. I am absolutely flabbergasted by it.

‘It is what it is but referees have got to be brave. At the moment we feel crucial decisions in games are going against us a little bit.

‘We have stepped up a level and would hope that would also apply to officials. So far it hasn’t seemed like it.’

For the opening 20 minutes there was little between the two sides.

Salford showed they were dangerous going forward but it was the Hawks who grabbed a 22nd-minute lead.

Wes Fogden did brilliantly to beat his defender and race along the byline.

Salford keeper Chris Neal parried his low cross straight to Bradley Tarbuck just inside the area.

Tarbuck sliced his effort up but Neal could only push the ball out from under his crossbar and Alfie Pavey was on to the ball in a flash to ram it into the bottom corner.

Salford hit back to level on 36 minutes.

‘I was disappointed with the way we conceded as it was another set-piece,’ added Bradbury.

‘That is not us – normally we are strong at that. Physically they were a threat at set-pieces but we can do better.

‘We can still take a lot of positives because when they tried to use their power in the second half we dealt with it.’

While the Hawks had to settle for a point in the end, Bradbury felt it was another step forward.

‘A draw was probably a fair result,’ the boss said.

‘We are starting to establish ourselves a bit and the lads are coming to grips with the league.

‘We have said to the players we have to build on this now.

‘I am a great believer that more often than not you get what you put into it.'

The Hawks are hunting a second way win of the campaign when they visit Bromley today (3pm).

Hawks: Young, Williams, Stock, Woodford, Harris (P Robinson, 66min), Fogden, Lewis, Pavey (Rutherford, 45min), Kabamba, Tarbuck (Strugnell, 61min), Rose. Attendance: 1,679