Hero Theo Lewis praised after crucial Havant & Waterlooville win against Barrow

Theo Lewis earned praise for his key contribution at both ends of the pitch in the Hawks' vital 2-0 win against Barrow at Westleigh Park.

Sunday, 6th January 2019, 2:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:32 pm
Hawks attack the Barrow goal. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Lewis gave the home side a 55th-minute lead and then produced a crucial goal-line clearance from a Barrow corner.

He was also the player stamped on which led to Kyle Jameson being dismissed 10 minutes from time.

Manager Lee Bradbury wasn't surprised by Lewis' important contribution which helped provide a massive boost in the battle to avoid slipping into the Vanarama National League relegation places.

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The Hawks boss said: '˜Theo has always had the capacity to arrive late in the box and score goals.

'˜He did that quite a lot last season.

'˜Having stepped up a level he hasn't found it quite so easy.

'˜We would like to see him doing it a lot more.'

The decisive breakthrough arrived early in the second half after Alfie Rutherford and Bradley Tarbuck linked up well down the right.

Rutherford held the ball up well before laying it back to Tarbuck who whipped in a wicked deep cross.

When Barrow failed to deal with it Lewis arrived unmarked at the far post and sent a stooping header back across goal into the bottom corner of the net.

Rory Williams sealed the win with a thunderous 25-yard strike in stoppage-time at the end of the game.

It was a deserved success against a team who arrived on the south coast boasting a seven-game unbeaten run.

With other teams at the bottom also winning it was vital in keeping the Hawks two points above the Vanarama National League relegation zone.

Bradbury rated it as the best the Hawks have played overall this campaign.

He added: '˜That was probably our most all-round performance of the season.

'˜We battled very hard, our fitness levels were great and we passed the ball when we could.

'˜On top of that we stretched the game when we needed to and should have won by more.

'˜We had three good chances in the first half but failed to take them.

'˜I was really pleased with the performance and it comes at the right time.

'˜We have didn't had a fantastic time over Christmas, not picking up many points.

'˜In terms of performances we did reasonably well in spits and spats.

'˜When we perform for 90 minutes we showed we can beat anyone.'

Barrow started well but didn't create much.

That was down to the quality shown by the home defence.

Tyler Cordner was immense and his central defensive partner Ryan Woodford wasn't far behind.

Once the home side got to grips with the game they proved the better side.

The Hawks turn their attention to the FA Trophy on Tuesday night hosting their first round replay against Dover Athletic at Westleigh Park (7.45pm).

Hawks: Dudzinski, Strugnell, Williams, Woodford, Lewis, Kabamba, Tarbuck (Paul 74), A Robinson, Rutherford (Jalloh 81), Cordner, Frost (Fogden 60).