Hawks boss satisfied with draw at dangerous Hemel

Rory Williams. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Rory Williams. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Gosport Borough lost to Stratford. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

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The Hawks proved they are realistic National League South title contenders with a hard-fought goalless draw at Hemel Hempstead Town.

Lee Bradbury’s side maintained their impressive away form and kept another clean sheet.

The visitors also went the closest to winning the game – with Jason Prior and Rory Williams firing shots against the woodwork.

Boss Bradbury said: ‘It was another very efficient performance.

‘Their manager said we were the most organised side they have played.

‘We have to take that as a big compliment with his team also pushing for the play-offs.

‘Defensively we were superb and we never really looked like conceding against a team that has scored a lot of goals.

‘Everybody did their job and again showed great willingness to put their bodies on the line.

‘They won headers and tackles with a determination to keep a clean sheet.

‘It was evident keeping clean sheets means a lot to us as a team.

‘We have the best defensive record in the league and that is the foundation of any good team.’

The Hawks had the earliest chance when Theo Lewis headed a Williams cross straight at the goalkeeper.

Prior almost broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time.

Williams played the ball into the striker and his superbly-struck shot cannoned off the crossbar.

The Hawks were unhappy when the referee blew his whistle just as Jordan Rose was about to pull the trigger in the box.

The result was a free-kick to the visitors on the edge of the area which came to nothing.

‘The referee later admitted he blew his whistle too quickly,’ added Bradbury.

Williams also sent a shot against the bar from a tight angle. In the end, neither side could find a way through and had to settle for a point each.

Bradbury added: ‘Before the game I would have settled for a point.

‘In the end, we could – and maybe should – have won it.

‘We knew it was going to be a big test for us and we came through it well.

‘It is another point on the road and keeps us rolling along nicely. We are in a very strong position.

‘Our fate is in our own hands and we want to make sure it stays like that.

‘Four of our next five games are at home. We must make the most of them.’

The Hawks dropped a place to third – five points behind leaders Dartford with three games in hand.

Gloucester City visit Westleigh Park on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

Hawks: Young, Williams, Stock, Woodford, Harris, Fogden (Strugnell, 89min), Lewis, Prior, Tubbs (Hayter, 86min), Tarbuck, Rose. Att: 506

n Bognor suffered late misery in their 1-0 defeat at Hampton & Richmond.

The Rocks, who are eight points shy of safety, conceded on 84 minutes and then had Sami El-Abd sent off.