Bradbury: Big reaction needed for Hawks to make amends against Leiston

Wes Fogden
Wes Fogden
The Hawks suffered FA Trophy semi-final heartbreak against Gosport Borough in 2014. Picture: Paul Jacobs

Bradbury: Hawks stronger than when we reached FA Trophy semi-final

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LEE BRADBURY needs a big reaction from the Hawks as they host unbeaten Ryman Premier leaders Leiston at Westleigh Park (3pm).

Bradbury’s side slipped to a shock 2-1 home defeat against bottom of the league Metropolitan Police in midweek.

Losing their unbeaten home record could have come at a worse time ahead of their biggest game so far this season.

Leiston will be looking to complete a league double after beating the Hawks 3-1 in Suffolk on the opening day of the season.

The main problem against Met Police was a lack of accuracy in both penalty boxes.

If the Hawks are to stand any chance of inflicting a first defeat on the visitors they will need to improve in both areas.

‘It was a disappointing night against Met Police and I want the players to show that,’ said Bradbury.

‘This is a massive game for both teams and we have to view it as a chance to make amends.

‘I thought we played reasonably well, had the majority of the play and created the best of the chances.

‘They only had two shots on target and scored with both of them.

‘It was one of those nights when things didn’t run for us and we got hit by a sucker punch.

‘We had at least four or five chances and failed to take them.

‘Against Leiston we might not get so many and will have to take the ones that come along.’

Bradbury was forced to play Wes Fogden at full-back because of an injury to Rory Williams.

Fogden did well filling in but the Hawks missed his quality and energy in midfield.

Williams remains doubtful and will face a late fitness test .

‘Wes does well wherever he plays,’ said Bradbury

‘I would prefer to have him in the middle, making his runs off the front men.’

It was a rare off night for the Hawks strike pair Jason Prior and Matt Paterson.

Though the home side have other options in Alfie Rutherford and James Hayter they are likely to stick with their current choice.

They just need to make sure they put the pain of Tuesday night behind them.

‘Every striker misses chances but they continue to be brave enough to get into scoring positions,’ said Bradbury.

‘We got ourselves into lots of good positions but didn’t make the most of them.

‘It is a chance for us to make up for that.’

The Hawks will need to be at their best because Leiston showed in the first game of the season what a dangerous threat they can be.

The visitors are capable of hitting the Hawks on the counter-attack with the pace they have in their side.

‘We are at home and will plan to take the game to them,’ said Bradbury.

‘At the same time we will need to be careful at the back.

‘It should be a terrific game.’