Ryan double as Hawks battle back for point

Perry Ryan grabbed both Hawks goals to secure a 2-2 draw   Picture: Dave Haines
Perry Ryan grabbed both Hawks goals to secure a 2-2 draw Picture: Dave Haines
Alex Pike. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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The Hawks produced a brave fightback to snatch a 2-2 draw against joint-leaders Salisbury at Westleigh Park.

The home side trailed by two goals early in the second half but two Perry Ryan goals hauled them level.

The Hawks had to play the final 10 minutes a man short after substitute Scott Jones was stretchered off.

The hosts made one change to the side that drew 1-1 at Chelmsford City in midweek.

Lee Bradbury opted for the experience of Eddie Hutchinson in place of Perry Ryan, who dropped to the substitutes’ bench.

Wycombe Wanderers loanee Emmanuel Ighorae was handed his home debut.

Ollie Palmer did well to burst past two defenders and fire a shot past the upright in the opening minutes.

Home goalkeeper Clark Masters awkwardly kicked the ball away outside his area as Salisbury striker Jamie White looked to latch on to a ball over the top.

Masters was in action again soon afterwards, getting his body behind Ryan Brett’s low drive.

The home keeper was the busiest player, holding on well when Ricky Wellard’s free-kick bounced in front of him.

On 20 minutes Ighorae did well to get to the byline but his dangerous low ball was cut out at the near post.

The Hawks had a big let-off a minute later when the league’s leading goalscorer White got free on the right.

The striker burst into the area and sent in a low drive that smacked back off the far post.

Salisbury were having a good spell, picking up the lion’s share of the second balls in midfield.

When the Hawks moved forward they were guilty of getting caught offside too many times.

Hesitation in the Hawks defence ended with Wellard sending a rising shot over the bar.

Salisbury were denied by the woodwork for a second time eight minutes before the break.

Glenn Wilson crossed from the right and Rob Sinclair sent a header against the post.

The Hawks made a change before the break sending on Ryan in place of Kabba.

But they switched off at the start of the second half as Dan Fitchett raced clear through the square home defence.

With just Masters to beat, the goalkeeper did well to go low and push his shot away.

There was no let-off a minute later, though, when the Hawks fell behind.

The ball was worked inside to Fitchett on the edge of the area and he worked enough space to knock his shot just inside the far post.

The Hawks were rocking and Masters had to go full length to push away another White shot.

Bradbury decided on a double change just nine minutes after the break with Scott Jones and Christian Nanetti replacing Hutchinson and Ighorae.

The visitors increased their lead on the hour with Fitchett again doing the damage.

The forward appeared to lose possession on the edge of the box but after regaining the ball, he was given the time to look up and curl his shot into the far corner.

But a minute later the Hawks dragged themselves back in it.

Palmer looped in a header from Nanetti’s free-kick and Ryan raced in to head home from point-blank range.

Ryan was the Hawks hero again 10 minutes later when he guided home a header into the far corner from a Nanetti cross to level matters.

It was turning into a thrilling end-to-end encounter with both teams pushing for a winner.

The Hawks had Jones stretchered off after being knocked unconscious in a horrendous collision with City keeper Willem Puddy.

As a result, the home side had to play the final 10 minutes a man short having used all their substitutions.

Nanetti went close to snatching a remarkable winner with a long-range effort that dipped just over the bar.

Blue Square Bet South



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

Salisbury City: Puddy, Wilson, Hart, Wellard, Clarke, Dutton, Brett, Lewis, White, Fitchett, Sinclair. Subs: Matthews, Udoji, Clark.

Referee: R Hyde (Brentwood).

Att: 837