Hawks keep moving up after Basingstoke win

Chris Arthur, right, was both creator and scorer for the Hawks   Picture: Dave Haines
Chris Arthur, right, was both creator and scorer for the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
Brett Poate

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The Hawks moved further away from danger with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Basingstoke Town at Westleigh Park.

Sahr Kabba justified his start with a double, while a Jay Gasson own goal and Chris Arthur effort kept Lee Bradbury’s men moving in the right direction.

The Hawks made one change from the side that drew 0-0 at Dorchester last weekend, with striker Kabba coming in for midfielder Perry Ryan.

Loanees Alex Grant, from Pompey, and Jesse Kewley-Graham, from Wycombe, made their home debuts.

The visitors included ex-Hawks Matt Warner, Gasson and Manny Williams in their starting line-up.

Basingstoke launched a first minute attack that ended with Jake Newton blocking Delano Sam-Yorke’s shot on the edge of the box.

A quickly-taken free kick from Kewley-Graham then put Chris Arthur in space down the left but his cross drifted over Christian Nanetti.

Eddie Hutchinson forced a low save from Dragons goalkeeper Ashley Bayes when the visitors struggled to clear their lines.

The Hawks broke the deadlock on 17 minutes through Kabba.

When Ollie Palmer’s goalbound volley was blocked at point-blank range, the ball rebounded out to Arthur on the far side of the area.

He crossed and Kabba had enough time and space to poke his shot past Bayes from 10 yards.

Clark Masters had to go full length to push out a low cross from Rob Rice but the Hawks wasted little time in extending their lead.

On 20 minutes Palmer cut in from the right and, although Bayes appeared to have his shot covered, Gasson deflected the ball past him at the near post.

Seven minutes later the visitors got themselves back into the game.

Williams threaded a pass through the Hawks defence and Shaun McAuley crashed his shot into the roof of the net.

The Hawks shook off their disappointment to restore their two-goal lead in the 33rd minute through Arthur.

The powerful midfielder robbed Wes Daly on halfway and fed the ball through to Kabba.

Arthur ran on to receive a return pass and easily picked his spot past Bayes.

Grant, who had been struggling with a knock, was replaced by Steve Ramsey nine minutes before the break.

Basingstoke came out at the start of the second half in determined fashion and Dan Strugnell had to clear a dangerous ball into the area.

Hutchinson was booked for a late challenge on Simon Dunn that enraged the visitors.

It was a sluggish start to the second period from the home side, although Nanetti did have a shot turned around the near post by Bayes.

Masters comfortably collected McAuley’s header after good passing opened up the Hawks down the right.

Kabba went close when he drilled a rising shot past the post after Hutchinson had headed the ball down in the area.

On 67 minutes, Bayes denied Kabba with a superb one-handed flying save to turn his fiercely-struck effort over the bar.

Basingstoke were still looking to get back into it and Sam-Yorke wasn’t far away with a powerful, angled drive.

The Hawks made a double substitution eight minutes from time, sending on Ryan and Scott Jones in place of Hutchinson and Nanetti.

On 86 minutes, Masters had to make a brave stop at the feet of Ben Jefford to spare the Hawks a tense final few minutes.

The home side were forced into some desperate defence but broke out to kill off the Dragons’ resistance a minute into stoppage-time.

Ramsey broke down the right and crossed deep to Jones who in turn crossed low for Kabba to turn the ball in from eight yards.

Blue Square Bet South

HAWKS 4 (Kabba 2, Gasson og, Arthur)


Hawks: Masters, Newton, Grant, Hutchinson, Harris, Strugnell, Nanetti, Kewley-Graham, Palmer, Kabba, Arthur. Subs: Ryan, Ramsey, Pearce, Jones, Hinshelwood.

Basingstoke: Bayes, Rice, Jefford, Adams, Gasson, Dunn, Daly, McAuley, Williams, Sam-Yorke, Warner. Subs: Holder-Spooner, Smart, Ogunbote, Lake, McDonnell.

Referee: B Holderness (Essex).