Hawks shrug off blow-out to claim draw

Brian Stock
Brian Stock
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Lee Bradbury paid tribute to his Hawks side as they found their fighting qualities in a 2-2 draw at Chelmsford City.

After a nightmare journey to Essex, which saw the team coach suffer a tyre blow-out on the M25 and left waiting on the hard shoulder for more than an hour, the game kicked off 25 minutes late.

And it looked like another bad day in the offing when Hawks fell 2-0 down.

But a second-half fightback saw Matt Paterson and Brian Stock snatch a share of the points and the visitors could have taken all three had Scott Donnelly’s late effort not been clawed out by the goalkeeper.

Bradbury said: ‘It is frustrating when you make all the plans for a game and all of a sudden you find them all thrown up in the air.

‘We had to get all the travel problems out of our minds and focus on being professional in our approach to the game.

‘I thought we started the game well and did reasonably well considering we had been sat on the motorway for the best part of two hours.

‘We didn’t deserve to find ourselves two goals down going in at half-time after they hit us with two sucker-punches.

‘In the second half, we produced a gutsy performance and got ourselves back into it.

‘At the end we could have come away with all three points.

‘We showed a lot of guts to grab the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half.

‘The players gave it a real go and got their reward.’

Fortunately the coach had only just left the Cobham Services and was still picking up speed when there was a huge bang as the burst tyre blew out the wheel arch.

It meant the team didn’t arrive until 2.40pm and when the game did eventually start, there was little to choose between the two teams before the Clarets took charge on the stroke of half-time.

Just when the Hawks looked as though they had weathered a brief spell of sustained pressure they conceded twice in the space of three minutes.

Billy Bricknell, with more than a hint of offside and Lee Sawyer from the penalty spot after a foul by Manny Monthe put Hawks on the back foot.

Trailing 2-0 at the break, it was the same situation at Bath City two weeks ago where they hauled up the white flag and capitulated to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat.

This time, however, Hawks showed a lot more backbone to get back into the game.

Paterson’s deft lob just past the hour mark gave his team hope and Stock fired home a terrific 77th-minute equaliser.

HAWKS: Young, Medway, Strugnell, Monthe, Cummings, Hayter (Ciardini, 86), Stock, Donnelly, Clifton, Paterson, Morgan (Swallow, 86).

Att: 736