Hawks let Lee leave Westleigh

Lee Peacock has left the Hawks by mutual consent Picture: Dave Haines
Lee Peacock has left the Hawks by mutual consent Picture: Dave Haines
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The Hawks have made a shock move in terminating the contract of one of their most experienced players in striker Lee Peacock.

Peacock leaves the club by mutual consent after being left out of the squad for the past two games.

After a long pursuit, the 36-year-old was snapped up by the Westleigh Park club last June after he left Conference Premier outfit Grimsby Town to relocate his family to Hampshire.

Peacock began the season as captain and couldn’t have wished for a better start, scoring the Hawks’ winning goal after just two minutes on the opening day of the season at Boreham Wood.

But that was to prove a false dawn, with injury and a loss of form limiting the former Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday forward to 12 league starts.

The writing was on the wall when the Scot wasn’t required to travel to either Welling or Thurrock last week.

‘There has been no fall out and Lee leaves us on good terms,’ said Hawks manager Shaun Gale.

‘He is a fantastic lad and I would like to thank him for his efforts.

‘Things haven’t worked out as we hoped but that’s football.

‘Sometimes it is not easy for players when they first come out of the professional game.

‘In football, you have to make decisions and I have sat down with the chairman to discuss the situation.

‘It is always disappointing when players leave a club.

‘We have three good, young strikers at the club in Scott Jones, Ollie Palmer and Dan Thompson, who is with us on loan until the end of the season.

‘They all have the potential to do well.’

Peacock began a long, illustrious career in the Football League at Carlisle United in 1994 and, after a spell with Mansfield Town, he moved to Manchester City in a £500,000 move in 1999.

He made only 10 appearances for the club before moving to Bristol City a year later where Peacock had his most successful spell, scoring 54 goals in 144 games.

Spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town followed before he dropped into the Conference Premier with Grimsby where he was captain last season.

Another player on the move from the Hawks is young goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore who looks set to join Gosport Borough in the Southern League.

Ashmore began the season as the Hawks’ first-choice keeper but lost his place after just six games to Lyall Beazley.

The youngster joined Borough on loan where he has impressed manager Alex Pike with a series of outstanding performances.

The two clubs have agreed a fee and the loan deal looks set to be made permanent before the end of the week.