Swallow switch provides Trophy lift for Hawks

Ben Swallow. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151265-122)
Ben Swallow. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151265-122)
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Lee Bradbury believes the Hawks’ 2-1 FA Trophy triumph over Basingstoke Town can give his squad the lift they need.

Goals from James Hayter and Ben Swallow steered the Westleigh Park outfit into the third qualifying round.

After two successive league defeats, it was just the tonic the hosts needed.

Bradbury was pleased with the way his players bounced back to winning ways.

‘It was a good performance in which we worked hard for the full 90 minutes,’ said the boss.

‘Our early goal put us on the front foot and apart from a 20-minute spell in the first half we were never really threatened.

‘It is no coincidence that when we play for the whole game, more often than not we come away as winners.

‘We dominated the second half, caused them lots of problems and won the game with a good goal.’

The Hawks made a dream start with Hayter giving them the lead inside the first five minutes.

Swallow was the architect, sending a low cross into the area for Hayter to score with a good finish.

Basingstoke were not prepared to roll over easily, though, and hit back with a 27th-minute equaliser.

Dan Strugnell tripped Simon Dunn inside the area to concede a penalty which Liam Enver-Marum converted.

Hawks keeper Ryan Young had to be at his best early in the second half to tip over a goal-bound Dunn effort.

Bradbury, however, made a tactical switch at the break and that was to prove decisive.

He moved Swallow into the pocket behind the two strikers and the Welshman came up with the all-important winner on 80 minutes.

Swallow cut into the area and curled a terrific effort into the top left-hand corner giving former Hawks goalkeeper Aaron Howe little chance.

‘Moving Swallow caused them lots of problems,’ said Bradbury.

‘We all know he can be a match-winner and he proved that here.

‘He knows that he needs to add more goals to his game and possesses the ability to do it.

‘This goal should give him a lot more confidence in that area.

‘We know he has the quality to unlock teams but that has been lacking in some games.’

Bradbury feels he can take a lot of positives from the win.

Lee Molyneaux returned from a long term injury at full-back and helped hold the line well.

Striker Matt Paterson again showed his appetite for hard work, although he failed to take three good chances.

‘His luck must change soon and when it does the floodgates will open,’ said Bradbury.

‘We have to make sure that we take the same effort into our next league game at Dartford.’

HAWKS: Young, Molyneaux (McCarthy, 68min), Cummings (Blanchett, 71min), Donnelly, Strugnell, Dutton, Ciardini, Stock, Paterson, Hayter (Mullings, 81min), Swallow. Att: 277