Unknown territory for boss after more Hawks travel sickness

Matt Paterson. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151265-184)
Matt Paterson. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151265-184)
  • Westleigh Park outfit plunge into drop zone
  • Defeat at Dartford bring Bradbury a new test
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Lee Bradbury admitted the Hawks have a huge fight on their hands after their 4-2 defeat at Dartford dumped them into the Vanarama National League South relegation zone.

Despite a second-half fightback, which saw them claw back a two-goal deficit, the Hawks once again ended up empty-handed on their travels.

They have managed just one away win all season and the signs are ominous for the Westleigh Park club.

Bradbury admitted this is a new experience for him as a manager.

‘I have never been in this position before and it isn’t pleasant,’ said the Westleigh Park boss.

‘It is the first time as a manager that I have ever been in the bottom three of any league.

‘We played well at times but once again have come away conceding four goals and losing.

‘There are no hiding places for any of us and it is time to stand up and be counted.

‘It is up to all of us in the dressing room to do something about it and turn it around.

‘We are where we are and it is no good feeling sorry for ourselves.

‘It is a time to be strong mentally if we are to start climbing the league.’

After a positive opening, the Hawks were left chasing the game as Dartford scored twice before the break.

On 24 minutes, Lee Molyneaux was adjudged to have handled a cross just inside the area and Elliott Bradbrook made no mistake from the spot.

To make matters worse, the Hawks failed to clear a corner on the stroke of half-time and Danny Harris smashed in the loose ball.

Bradbury’s men came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and were level nine minutes later.

Dan Strugnell got on the end of a Scott Donnelly free-kick to pull one back before Matt Paterson notched the equaliser.

‘Once we got level I thought we would go on and win it,’ said Bradbury.

‘Instead they hit us with the sucker-punch of two more goals.

‘To score twice away from home and come away with nothing was hugely disappointing.

‘Their other goals came from shots from long distance.

‘They were allowed the time and space, which wasn’t good enough.

‘We can’t keep conceding silly goals because it just sucks the life out of us.

‘It isn’t acceptable and players have to start taking responsibility.

‘Defensively we have not been good enough.’

Bradbrook and Ebrima Adams ended the Hawks resistance

Bradbury now faces the task of lifting his team for the busy Christmas league schedule.

Before that they face two important cup ties – beginning with a trip to Petersfield Town in the Hampshire Senior Cup on Wednesday night.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Ciardini, Stock, Molyneaux (Medway, 71min), McCarthy, Swallow (Mullings, 82min), Donnelly, Paterson, Hayter, Poku. Att: 738