Pompey prospect inspires Hawks to exciting victory
LEE BRADBURY lauded a great goal from Theo Widdrington which set up a brilliant 3-2 win for the Hawks at home to Eastbourne Borough.
The Pompey loanee rifled in an unstoppable drive after only two minutes to lift the hosts and open their account for the season in the National League South.
Rory Williams curled in a superb free-kick before the break and Jason Prior confirmed the Hawks’ superiority with a third goal early in the second half.
Remarkably, Borough, who were down to 10 men after Gavin McCallum was sent off for two bookings, scored twice during stoppage time to produce a nervous finale.
‘It was a fantastic performance for 90 minutes but then we switched off,’ said Hawks boss Bradbury.
‘Theo got us off on the front foot with a fantastic strike and we maintained a good early intensity.
‘We moved the ball quickly with quality and great energy.
‘I thought our fitness levels were impressive and we ran them into the ground. Our plan and the way we wanted to play them worked perfectly.
‘It would have been a travesty if we had come away with anything less than three points.
‘I always impress on the players it is a 95-minute game and we didn’t deserve the nervous finish.’
In a sensational opening the Hawks took the lead after only two minutes through a thunderous Widdrington strike.
The Pompey loanee picked up a headed clearance 25 yards out and smashed an unstoppable shot high into the net.
Former Hawks man Ian Simpemba thumped a header past the upright as Borough looked to make a response.
Borough goalkeeper Bailey Vose then turned a Theo Lewis drive around his near upright.
In the 23rd minute it was 2-0. Wes Fogden was fouled just outside the area and Rory Williams expertly curled the free-kick over the defensive wall and past the diving Vose.
Five minutes before the break Widdrington almost struck again with a header against the crossbar.
There was still time for the youngster to send in another thunderous long-range thunderbolt which the goalkeeper desperately clawed away.
The visitors were unlucky in the opening minutes of the second half when Matt Drage crashed a 25 yard free-kick against the crossbar.
On 54 minutes the Hawks added a third goal. Prior latched onto a Lewis ball over the top and coolly placed his shot past Vose.
The home side made a double change, sending on Matt Tubbs and Brian Stock for Rutherford and Mike Carter and although they looked comfortable Eastbourne struck twice late on to make it nervous.
Hawks: Young, Robinson, Williams, Carter, Molyneaux, Harris, Fogden, Lewis, Prior, Rutherford, Widdrington. Subs: Tubbs, Barker, Stock, Rose, Hayter