Bradbury keen to see Hawks get off the mark

Striker Matt Paterson started against Leiston on Saturday Picture: Allan Hutchings
Striker Matt Paterson started against Leiston on Saturday Picture: Allan Hutchings
Jason Prior netted twice in the first half for the Hawks

Slick Hawks impress to bring down Whitehawk

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Lee Bradbury is confident the Hawks can kick-start their season by beating Leatherhead at Westleigh Park tonight (7.45pm).

The manager needs a big reaction from his squad after they started their first-ever Ryman Premier campaign with a 3-1 defeat at Leiston.

It was a hugely disappointing result for the team tipped as pre-season favourites to win the title.

Bradbury knows his team have a good opportunity to put things right very quickly.

‘We have two home games now and I expect us to use them to get back on track,’ he said.

‘I am looking for us to be consistent in our performances.

‘It is important that we get off the mark as quickly as possible.

‘In recent years we have not started well but that is a trend we need to buck.

‘At Leiston we dominated large parts of the game but failed to convert our chances.

‘We will need to make sure that we make it count.’

Bradbury decided to start the season with last season’s strike pair of James Hayter and Matt Paterson up front.

That meant his two new strikers, Jason Prior and Alfie Rutherford – both signed from Bognor – had to settle for the substitutes’ bench.

Both were introduced late on but were unable to find the net.

The pair scored over 70 goals between them for the Rocks in the same division last season and Bradbury might be tempted to swap his strikers around.

At the back, the manager will be demanding greater resilience after the three goals conceded at Leiston.

And the imminent return of experienced central defender Ed Harris will be good news.

Harris missed the whole of last season due to a knee injury and has spent the summer rehabilitating.

He is not quite match fit – and the same applies to midfielder Wes Fogden who returned to Westleigh Park from Yeovil in the summer.

George Barker is another doubt after missing the Leiston game with a hamstring injury.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Williams, Stock, Woodford, Robinson, Swallow, Lewis, Paterson, Hayter, Prior, Rutherford, Tarbuck, Molyneaux, Medway.