Hawks boss remain positive after poor start

Theo Lewis. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160012-13)
Theo Lewis. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160012-13)
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The Hawks made a disappointing start to life in the Ryman League premier division as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Leiston at Victory Road.

It was not the opening day manager Lee Bradbury had hoped for following last season’s relegation from National League South.

The two sides went into the break level at 1-1 but two goals in as many minutes for the home side at the start of the second half sealed the Hawks’ fate.

‘There is no need to press the panic button,’ said Bradbury.

‘The league is not won or lost on the opening day of the season.

‘It is a disappointing result, though, especially as we had travelled up the day before.

‘For long periods we were the dominant side but for one half-hour spell we were not good enough.

‘We could have been two or three up and missed chances cost us.

‘I was confident at the break that we would go on and win the game.

‘The next goal was always going to be important and Leiston killed us dead with two in quick succession.’

The home side took the lead in the 21st minute when a low centre was flicked on and Jack Ainsley was able to fire the ball in at the far post.

Ten minutes later Theo Lewis levelled when Ben Swallow provided the cross for his deft header.

The visitors remained on top for the rest of the half but they were rocked back in the opening minutes of the second period.

Gareth Heath drilled an unstoppable 25-yard shot beyond Ryan Young and 30 seconds later Matt Blake ran through to make it three.

‘Their third goal was disappointing because it came from a simple long ball over the top,’ added Bradbury.

‘After that Leiston shut up shop and we found it impossible to break them down.

‘In the grand balance of things they deserved the win because of those two second-half goals.

‘We have to make sure we get up and running by picking up three points at home against Leatherhead tomorrow night.’

The visitors pressed hard in the latter stages and substitute Alfie Rutherford prodded a good chance wide.

Elsewhere, last season’s play-off semi-finalists Bognor also endured a difficult opening day as they went down 3-1 to Lowestoft Town at Nyewood Lane.

In a game delayed by over an hour because of the visitors’ coach breaking down, Bognor went behind after five minutes.

Dan Beck deflected a shot into his own net early in the second half and the Trawlerboys sealed the win with a third goal five minutes from time.

James Crane managed a last minute consolation for the Rocks.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Williams (Medway, 79min), Stock, Woodford, Robinson, Swallow, Lewis, Paterson (Prior, 61min), Hayter (Rutherford, 61min), Tarbuck. Att: 242