Johnson: Let’s build on Truro platform

Hawks caretaker boss Steve Johnson  Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks caretaker boss Steve Johnson Picture: Dave Haines
Steve Ramsey scored for AFC Portchester in their defeat at Amesbury Town. Picture: Keith Woodland

Bognor remain bottom after defeat

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Caretaker-Boss Steve Johnson wants the Hawks to use their 1-0 win at Truro City as a springboard to secure Blue Square Bet South safety.

A 70th-minute Christian Nanetti penalty proved invaluable for the Hawks, who remain in the bottom three, as they earned three priceless points in their fight for survival.

It was no more than the visitors deserved as they displayed a new-found belief in a brave performance.

And with their next three games all at Westleigh Park, starting with Salisbury City tomorrow night, Johnson believes his focused side have a great opportunity to pull away from the danger zone.

‘These are a huge three points for us and the players have responded well,’ said Johnson.

‘They did everything we asked of them and I am pleased for them after putting in a performance.

‘We battled hard for everything and have a great set of lads here.

‘They have underperformed this season and we can’t hide from that but, certainly with performances like that, we will win a lot more than we will lose.

‘We’ve enjoyed Saturday but the job isn’t done yet.

‘In the dressing room, the players remain focused because we know that it is just three points.

‘They will count for nothing if we go backwards in our next three games.

‘We have to use the win as a platform and build upon it again in our next game.’

The home side edged the first half, which ended goalless, as both teams struggled to master the difficult cold, blustery wind blowing diagonally across the pitch.

Stand-in Hawks goalkeeper Dan Thomas made two excellent saves – one in the first minute from a Barry Hayles backheader.

The visitors also escaped on the stroke of half-time when a diving header from Martin Gritton came back off the post.

A refused penalty when Les Afful fell over the legs of Sam Pearce in the opening minutes of the second half left the home side incensed.

But it was the Hawks who started to establish control after the restart, with Nanetti sending a shot against the inside of the post.

And a greater competitive edge in midfield was to prove the key for the visitors.

‘Our two in the middle of the park – Eddie Hutchinson and Paul Hinshelwood – were terrific,’ said Johnson

‘Anything second phase they were there on their toes and doing their bit.

‘I thought Eddie was the man of the match by a country mile and is one of those players who quietly goes about his business doing an enormous amount for the team.’

The decisive breakthrough came on 70 minutes when Nanetti went down inside the area under the challenge of two defenders.

Despite the protests from the home side, Nanetti kept his cool to rifle his spot-kick high into the net.

In the past, the Hawks have struggled to keep a lead.

But this time their determination not to yield was clear to be seen.

Their new-found resolve saw them comfortably keep Truro at bay for a deserved win.

It wasn’t enough to lift the Hawks out of the bottom three, but they are just one point behind Maidenhead United with a game in hand.

Hawks: Thomas 7; Newton 7, Arthur 7, Hinshelwood 8, Dolan 8, Pearce 8, Hutchinson 9, Ramsey 7, Jones 7 (Thompson 89), Igoe 7, Nanetti 8

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