Spectacular Hawks strikes cut down Wood

Perry Ryan put the Hawks in front at half-time. Picture: Dave Haines
Perry Ryan put the Hawks in front at half-time. Picture: Dave Haines
Wes Fogden in action for the Hawks. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Bradbury fires warning as Hawks eye top spot

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The Hawks continued their charge towards the Skrill South play-off places with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Boreham Wood last night.

Spectacular long-range strikes by Perry Ryan and Dan Blanchett fired the Westleigh Park side into 12th spot and stretched their unbeaten league run to seven games.

The victory comes hot on the heels of Saturday’s 1-0 success at Hayes & Yeading and Monday night’s Hampshire Senior Cup demolition of AFC Portchester.

And Lee Bradbury was quick to praise his men for the way they have put their FA Trophy semi-final disappointment behind them.

‘Since losing to Gosport we have won all three games and kept three clean sheets,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘It shows we have moved on and have managed to get back on track.

‘This win keeps our momentum going and that was always going to be important.

‘It was a game of two halves. In the first half we looked a bit leggy, playing our third game in six days.

‘But once we adjusted a few things, we looked a different side in the second half and scored two cracking goals.

‘We defended well when we had to and put in some terrific blocks in the last 10 minutes when they threw a couple of big men on.’

Bradbury gave AFC Bournemouth loanee Benji Buchel his debut between the posts and made other changes in defence as the Hawks faced their third game in five days.

Jake Newton, Blanchett, Scott Donnelly and Dan Strugnell all came back into the starting line-up.

Strugnell moved into the centre of defence to replace the rested Pedro Monteiro.

Midfielder Steve Ramsey reappeared on the bench following his month-long loan at Gosport Borough.

The Hawks lived dangerously in the opening 15 minutes as Boreham Wood camped in their half.

Buchel was almost caught out trying to dribble the ball clear of his own area and Kudas Oyenuga headed narrowly wide from a corner.

Acting captain Ryan Woodford was a calming influence in the heart of the visitors’ defence.

And after keeping the home side at bay the Hawks broke out to take the lead a minute before half-time.

A cleverly-worked free-kick 30 yards from goal allowed Ryan to drill an inch-perfect shot inside the far post giving the home keeper little chance.

The Hawks came under pressure again after the break – with Buchel reacting sharply to smother a six-yard shot from Junior Morais.

Bradbury soon sent on Scott Jones and Alek Przespolewski for Donnelly and Christian Nanetti.

And Jones was quickly in action with a 30-yard run and cross Boreham Wood scrambled away.

It was an increasingly solid performance from the visitors – the home side struggling to break them down.

Woodford typified the Hawks’ determination with a brave block from Graeme Montgomery in the final five minutes.

The visitors then sealed the victory in stoppage-time when Blanchett hit a wonderful second.

The full-back spotted the keeper off his line and lifted the ball over him in spectacular fashion from 40 yards.

HAWKS: Buchel, Newton, Blanchett, Ryan, Strugnall, Woodford, Nanetti, Atangana, Oli, Donnelly, Ciardini. Subs: Monteiro, Cummings, Ramsey, Jones, Przespolewski