Moss fires double for Hawks to sink Llanelli

Ryan Moss scores his second. Picture: Dave Haines
Ryan Moss scores his second. Picture: Dave Haines
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Super-sub Ryan Moss scored twice as the Hawks beat Welsh visitors Llanelli 2-1 at Westleigh Park.

Moss grabbed a brace to secure the morale-boosting pre-season friendly win after the Hawks fell behind early in the second half.

Assistant manager Barry Blankley was encouraged by what he saw.

‘We looked very solid and I felt we dominated 75 per cent of the contest against good quality opposition,’ he said.

‘Our shape was excellent and the only disappointment was the way we gave a goal away.

‘We switched off at a set-piece and made it easy for them.

‘But again they can take a lot of credit for their determination to come from behind and win.

‘I thought we looked solid with two banks of four at the back making it difficult for them.

‘Llanelli created very little throughout and that was down to our organisation.’

Llanelli, who won the Welsh Cup in 2011 and played in the Europa League during the 2011-12 season, were quick out of the blocks.

But the Hawks didn’t allow themselves to be flustered.

The back four of Chris Arthur, Ed Harris, Sam Page and Jake Newton remained a solid unit and the opening 45 minutes ended goalless.

But the opening goal went the way of the Welsh visitors as the Hawks fell asleep at a corner.

Chris Thomas crossed for Chris Venables to score from eight yards.

‘Games are often won and lost at set-pieces,’ said a disappointed Blankley.

Moss levelled just four minutes later.

Ollie Palmer’s lob bounced back off the crossbar with the keeper well beaten and Moss reacted quickest to knock the rebound in.

The front man then struck again four minutes from time.

Arthur made a typical burst through the visiting defence.

And he stood up a pin-point cross for Moss to head the ball home at the far post.

Meanwhile, midfield pair Bobby Hopkinson and Lewis Stockford have become the first casualties of manager Stuart Ritchie’s aim to trim his squad.

Stockford lined up for Bognor against Worthing on Saturday.

Ritchie has indicated two or three more players could also be heading for the exit door.

HAWKS: Masters; Newton, Arthur, Hutchinson, Page, Harris (Pearce 69mins), Ramsey, Bailey (Ryan 52mins), Kabba (Jones 15mins, Moss 45mins), Palmer, Nanetti (Whyte 59mins). Att: 216.