Whitehawk ran riot after annihilating 9-man Three Bridges 8-1 at The TerraPura Ground. Lucas Rodrigues was the star man, with two goals and four assists.
The game started in incredible fashion as Rodrigues ran through on goal almost from kickoff and was brought down outside the area by Bridges keeper Kieron Thorp, who was shown a straight red card. Without a keeper on the bench, midfielder and ex-Hawk John Lansdale went in goal for the away side. After nine minutes the Hawks were awarded a penalty after stand-in keeper Lansdale clattered Charles Banya inside the box. Ahmed Abdulla stepped up to open the scoring. A few minutes later the lead could have been doubled after a Henry Muggeridge free-kick from the goal line on the far side found Stacey Freeman who headed over.
The Hawks went 2-0 up after 20 minutes when a neat build up led to Rodrigues playing in Abdulla, who slotted home past a helpless Lansdale. After 30 minutes the Hawks were awarded their 2nd penalty of the game when Rodrigues was blocked off in the area by Tadley Bromage. Up stepped Abdulla again and he comfortably slotted home to earn a first half hat-trick.
Three Bridges made a rare run into the Hawks area with Mason Doughty through on goal, but James Broadbent came off his line and did what the Bridges keepers could not, dispossess the attacker and clear the ball brilliantly. With 45 minutes on the clock, the Hawks should have made it 4-0 with Rodrigues again through on goal, but his chip went narrowly wide. After going into five minutes of added time, stand-in keeper Lansdale pulled off a great save to tip a Luke Emberson header over the bar. Less than a minute later, Whitehawk did get a deserved 4th goal with a low Marvin Hamilton free-kick from 25 yards out finding the bottom corner for a 4-0 half time lead.
After the break, the attacking intent from Whitehawk continued with Rodrigues continuing to cause havoc. Five minutes into the half it could have been five, when he shot across goal going agonisingly wide of the far post. After 58 minutes a fifth for Whitehawk did come after Rodrigues did well to stay onside and break clear of the back line, before unselfishly squaring to Luke Emberson who smashed home his second senior goal.
The chances kept coming with Ahmed Abdulla having a shot pushed wide by Lansdale and Fintan Walsh having a shot cleared off the line. Three Bridges grabbed a goal back after 65 minutes after Nathan Crabb fired through a crowded penalty area with the shot going past an unsighted James Broadbent. Midway through the half the game started to fade out with both sides seemingly comfortable to settle for a 5-1 scoreline. That all changed nine minutes from time as Rodrigues finally grabbed a deserved goal as once again he broke away of the visiting defence to finish well past Lansdale.
The game saw it’s third penalty after 86 minutes with Rodrigues being brought down inside the box yet again. He then got straight back up and converted for his second of the game. The action continued as three minutes later Tadley Bromage was shown a second yellow card as Bridges went down to nine. Marvin Hamilton powered the resulting free-kick into the bottom corner once again, for his second of the game. The chances kept coming as the Hawks clearly wanted more goals with substitutes Lewis Unwin and Duane Ofori-Acheampong also after a piece of the action. Unfortunately the already long score sheet wasn’t added to more, as the Hawks saw out a sensational victory.
Hawks: Broadbent, Hamilton, Banya, Kissock (Unwin 59’), Walsh, Freeman, Rodrigues, Emberson, Muggeridge (c) (Ofori-Acheampong 70’), Abdulla (Ovenden 81’), Martin – Subs Not Used: Waters, Zabadne
Bridges: Thorp, Williams, Hall (c), Gayler (Adekunle 82’), O’Neill, Tolfrey (Andrade 64’), Towning (Irving 72’), Crabb, Bromage, Lansdale, Doughty – Subs Not Used: Bunga, Ashley
Goals: Abdulla 11’ (pen), 20’, 30’ (pen), Hamilton 40+3’, 89’ Emberson 58’, Rodrigues 81’, 86 (pen) (Whitehawk); Crabb 65’ (Three Bridges)
Yellow Cards: Kissock, Walsh, Abdulla (Whitehawk), Bromage (2), Hall (Three Bridges)
Red Cards: Thorp, Bromage (Three Bridges)
Hawks Man of the Match: Lucas Rodrigues