The HAWKS suffered a rare defeat on Tuesday away at Harrow, today Lee Bradbury calls on his squad to forget that disappointment and focus on the match in hand against bottom club Grays Athletic, Bradbury commented 'this will be a tough game for us as Grays are fighting for their lives'
Alfie Rutherford is rested after a knock on Tuesday with Matt Paterson joining Jason Prior up front; The HAWKS earn an early free kick 25 yards out Brian Stock looks to whip the ball across the area, instead he shoots with the Grays keeper pulling of a great stop, Havant and Waterlooville have taken the early initiative as they probe the Grays defence, with 9 minutes gone a great passage of one touch football as Wes Fogden plays to Theo Lewis on the edge of the area, Lewis to Rory Williams who thumps the ball past the keeper and the early lead goes to the HAWKS. Grays attack results in a goal mouth scramble, HAWKS take control and clear their lines. Jason Prior fires a stinging shot on 17 minutes and the Grays keeper denies the HAWKS a second goal with a great save. Half way through the first half and Ryan Young is called into action to make his first save of the match. With 28 minutes gone Wes Fogden drives into the Grays area only to be hacked down, the resulting penalty is driven home with authority by Jason Prior and the HAWKS go 2-0 to the good. Havant and Waterlooville have most of the possession and continue to run riot through the Grays defence, there is a half chance for Theo Lewis as he heads just wide and on 40 minutes it looked like Matt Paterson would make it 3-0 as he finds himself one on one with the keeper 14 yards out, again the Grays keeper pulls off a good save to deny Pato. The referee blows for half time and Havant and Waterlooville are sitting pretty on a 2-0 lead.
The early exchanges in the second half see Havant and Waterlooville continue their assault on the Grays defence which looks shaky, 52 minutes in the HAWKS earn a free kick, the ball is whipped in and deflected for a corner, Brian Stock drills in the corner which Rory Williams just misses and Grays breath a sigh of relief. 5 minutes later a HAWKS cross is parried clear only as far as Theo Lewis who can't keep his shot down. With 25 minutes remaining Brian Stock stands over a HAWKS free kick 20 yards out his shot rebounds of the wall to the feet of Rory Williams who drags his effort wide. Lee Bradbury waits until the 77th minute before replacing Theo Lewis with Mike Carter, the later part of the second half has become rather scrappy, the HAWKS are content with their lead and stroke the ball around frustrating Grays. With 3 minutes remaining Matt Paterson is replaced by George Barker. Havant and Waterlooville are happy to run the clock down, the final whistle goes and the HAWKS bag 3 comfortable points to keep the pressure on.