Super sub strikes as Hawks up pressure on leaders
SUPER sub George Barker kept up Hawks' flying form as they ramped up the pressure on the league leaders.
Barker pounced to get the only goal of the game as Lee Bradbury’s side picked up a 1-0 win at Leatherhead.
That reduced the gap on leaders Leiston to a single point at the top of the Ryman League premier division.
And Hawks could leapfrog their rivals, who have cup duties, by the time they face each other next weekend.
Jimmy Bullard’s side couldn’t halt Bradbury’s men, who produced a high-tempo approach.
That delighted the Hawks boss, with his side unbeaten in the league since the opening day.
Bradbury said: ‘Our plan was to press them high up the pitch - that takes a lot of energy.
‘But the energy, desire and effectiveness of the players was spot on. We thoroughly deserved the win.
‘Although Leatherhead passed the ball well we made it very hard for them.
‘I was impressed with the whole attitude and determination of the players not to lose and not to concede.
‘In a way I’m more pleased with this than our 5-2 win at the weekend.
‘The winning mentality is important. We have to keep chipping away and keep winning.’
The Hawks named an unchanged starting line-up after their 5-2 win over Harlow Town, and both teams started the game playing neat passing football and carving out chances.
Hawks goalkeeper Ryan Young had to race to the edge of the area to take the ball off the toes of the nippy Evan Lopes
Almost immediately Tanners keeper Will Godman saved with his legs, to deny Matt Paterson from six yards.
The visitors were forced into an early change with George Barker replacing the injured Rory Williams.
As the interval approached, a slick passing move almost put Calum Davies through but Young was quickly off his line to smother the ball.
The Hawks started the second half on the front foot and Ed Harris sent a header bouncing against the post from a corner.
Jason Prior then headed on to the roof of the net as the visitors looked to step up the tempo.
On 58 minutes, Ben Swallow superbly skipped his way past three tackles but his curling shot shaved the wrong side of the far post.
It was the Hawks who made the all-important breakthrough in the 68th minute.
Swallow crossed from the byline, Prior’s header was parried by the keeper and Barker drove in the loose ball from close-range.
The visitors weathered a brief spell of pressure but after that comfortably saw the game out in the final 20 minutes.
HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Williams, Stock, Woodford, Harris, Swallow, Lewis, Prior, Paterson, Fogden. SUBS: Robinson, Hayter, Rutherford, Tarbuck, Barker.