Palmer hits hat-trick as Hawks top the Bill

Ollie Palmer. Picture: Dave Haines
Ollie Palmer. Picture: Dave Haines
Dan Wooden. Picture: Neil Marshall (170104-04)

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LEE BRADBURY watched Hawks smash Billericay 5-0 at Westleigh Park last night and declared: It’s been coming.

The Hawks boss saw striker Ollie Palmer bag a hat-trick after Christian Nanetti opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

Sahr Kabba was also on the mark to crown a fine evening’s work for Bradbury’s men.

Billericay had Rob Swaine sent off just before half-time but Hawks were already 3-0 ahead by then.

Bradbury was delighted with the team performance.

He said: ‘We have been threatening to do that to someone for a few weeks.

‘We were very good – dealing with their threats and passing the ball well.

‘When they went down to 10 men we didn’t switch off.

‘Ollie Palmer worked hard for his hat-trick. He was a handful and clinical in front of goal.

‘He went away with the match ball but it was the team performance that got us the win.

‘It was convincing and I am proud of the players.’

The Hawks made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday’s draw with Dover.

Steve Ramsey replaced Eddie Hutchinson in midfield.

Billericay’s Junior Lake saw his early effort blocked.

But Hawks hit the front on 10 minutes, with Nanetti making no mistake from the penalty spot.

Ramsey charged down a clearance and Palmer latched onto the rebound.

The striker raced into the area where he was upended by Chris Wild.

Nanetti fired home from 12 yards – despite Billericay keeper Sam Beasant getting a hand to his effort.

Confident Hawks were too hot to handle with their slick passing.

They extended their lead on 25 minutes as Palmer notched his 19th goal of the season.

He showed great awareness to beat Beasant to a loose ball – after Nanetti tried to burst through on goal – and squeeze his shot home.

Hawks made it 3-0 on 33 minutes when the impressive Palmer took his season’s tally to 20.

He picked up the ball midway inside the Billericay half, skinned his defender and cracked a superb shot into the far corner.

The hapless visitors were then reduced to 10 men a minute before the break.

Defender Rob Swaine was shown a straight red card for a wild lunge on Chris Arthur.

Seven minutes after half-time it was 4-0. Kabba met a Perry Ryan through ball and fired his shot beyond Beasant.

On 73 minutes, Palmer secured his hat-trick with a fiercely struck shot after Kabba worked the ball across the area.

The Hawks hero was substituted with Scott Jones making his comeback after a head injury for the final 15 minutes.

Ryan almost added a sixth but his rasping first-time volley was spectacularly saved.

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

Billericay: Beasant, Rodgers, Ashton, Collis, Swaine, Luke, Wild, Poole, May, Taylor, Beckles. Subs: Douglas, Osborn, Smith, Lechmere, Semekula

Referee: Adam Crysell (Braintree)

Att: 355