Ex Millwall, Wimbledon and Pompey man joins the Hawks
Jason Prior’s strike just before half-time was enough for the Hawks to beat Oxford City and go top of The National League South following Dartford’s defeat to Poole Town.
Lee Bradbury named an unchanged side to the team that beat Gloucester City in their last league fixture ten days ago meaning Rory Williams took to the turf for the first time since winning player of the month.
The Hawks would have the better of the opening 10 minutes with Theo Lewis coming closest in that spell when he missed from 6 yards out following Williams’ cross from the left.
Ex-Hawk Matt Paterson, who scored 17 league goals for Oxford this year had an opportunity 15 minutes in but when he seemed to have done the hard bit he scuffed his effort onto the 3G surface.
Paterson again would have an effort from a free-kick but the wall deflected the shot into the reliable hands of Ryan Young.
With just under 10 minutes before the break the Hawks were starting to exert authority over their opponents as Fogden and Williams combine with Williams floating a 40 yard pass into the path of Jason Prior who after getting the ball down on his first touch couldn’t get the shot away.
As injury time in the opening period loomed a Hawks corner was swung into the path of Jordan Rose who flicked the ball on but to no avail at the far post as King comfortably gathers.
But the Hawks would not be denied as just before the whistle Williams’ corner into the area comes off an Oxford City defender into the path of Jason Prior who would not need to be asked twice burying the ball home to give the Hawks the lead before the interval.
It would be the hosts that would have the first chance of the second period when Sam Nombe gets the ball in a dangerous position but before he could do anything with it, the ever-present thorn that was Jordan Rose got the ball away to sniff out any danger.
10 minutes into the second half Jason Prior was fouled and from the resulting free-kick Stock floated the ball into the path of Theo Lewis but his header didn’t have quite the venom to threaten Craig King in the Oxford City goal.
The next twenty minutes would be a quiet affair with both sides having large spells of possession but nothing that went goalbound.
But then in the last quarter the Hawks had chances to put the game to bed. The first of these fell when Stock played the ball into Tarbuck, who then in turn beats Stevens before finding Fogden who went for goal but his effort blocked by the Oxford City defence.
Seconds after the Hawks pressing would start to pay dividends as Prior sprung back to the edge of his half to win the ball before Tubbs forces a mistake in the Oxford defence to win the ball once more.
With 8 minutes to go the Hawks came as close as any effort to a second as Jason Prior was played through by Wes Fogden, going one-on-one with King before King saves well.
But it wouldn’t quite be the Hawks without some heart in mouth action as Matt Paterson gets on the end of a Oxford free-kick but his shot can only be scuffed onto the surface much to the relief of the droves of Hawks fans that made the trip.
The Hawks claim a huge 3 points as they lead the way for the first time this season. Next up is the Hawks’ second game in hand against Wealdstone on Tuesday night, a side in a great nick of form and have a FA Trophy semi-final to look forward to on Saturday.