Hawks close in on play-off spot

Hawks goalscorer Harry Cornick''. Picture: Paul Jacobs
Hawks goalscorer Harry Cornick''. Picture: Paul Jacobs
  • Victory over Bath puts Hawks in the driving seat for top five placing
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Lee Bradbury believes a point from Hawks’ last two games will seal their place in the Vanarama conference south play-offs.

The Hawks remain fourth in the table after a determined 2-0 win over Bath City at Westleigh Park.

We have given ourselves a real chance and I reckon one more point from the last two games should seal it

Lee Bradbury

Scott Donnelly crashed home a long-range drive in the first-half and 
Harry Cornick sealed the win 16 minutes from time with another 
clinical finish.

‘I am delighted with the way we have applied ourselves in the last six games, winning five of them,’ said manager Bradbury.

‘We have given ourselves a real chance and I reckon one more point from the last two games should seal it.

‘Ideally we can go on and win the last two and see where it takes us.

‘All the time it is possible we can win the title, we will keep going for it.’

The home side made two changes to their starting line-up, including Nick Awford coming in for the injured Nic Ciardini.

Up front Ben Wright replaced Shamir Mullings, who dropped to the substitutes bench.

The Hawks made most of the early running without creating any clear-cut openings.

When Bath attacked, goalkeeper Ryan Young moved quickly off his line to punch the ball off the head of Dave Pratt.

Harry Cornick proved the Hawks’ liveliest threat with his pace down the left causing City problems.

The home side were unlucky not to take the lead in the 17th minute when Donnelly struck a 30-yard free-kick against the post.

Two minutes later Bath could have been ahead but Andy Watkins fired weakly at Young from just three yards out.

Ed Harris did well at the back to snuff out a dangerous run from Pratt 10 minutes before the break.

On 37 minutes Hawks broke the deadlock out of the blue.

There appeared little threat when Donnelly picked up a loose ball 30 yards out but the midfielder fired in a tremendous low first-time shot which flew just inside the post.

The Hawks were forced to make a change early in the second half when Mullings replaced the limping Wright.

The substitute was immediately involved in a neat move which ended with Donnelly curling a shot into the arms of Jason Mellor.

The goalkeeper then denied Cornick with a flying save after the youngster cleverly cut the ball back.

Cornick extended the Hawks advantage in the 74th minute with an excellent finish from the edge of the area.

The striker worked his way across the face of the area before burying his drive into the bottom corner for his third goal in two games.

The second goal gave the Hawks the breathing space they needed to comfortably see out the game.

And Bradbury was impressed by the performance.

‘It was evident how determined the players are to make the play-offs,’ he said.

‘Our work-rate and application were terrific and we scored a couple of good goals.

‘The clean sheet against a team that have scored a lot of goals this season was also pleasing.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Cummings, Awford, Dutton, Harris, Swallow, Donnelly, Wright, Cornick, Carmichael. Subs: Mullings, Huggins, Blanchett, Bubb, Monteiro.

Referee: A Laver (Southsea)