Bradbury to give fringe players chance to shine

Alfie Rutherford in action for the Hawks during the Portsmouth Senior Cup final 2016 against Petersfield.  Picture: Sarah Standing
Alfie Rutherford in action for the Hawks during the Portsmouth Senior Cup final 2016 against Petersfield. Picture: Sarah Standing
Jack Maloney was Horndean's goal-hero at Portland. Picture: Neil Marshall (171151-21)

Horndean celebrate Vase joy at Portland

Alfie Rutherford's late strike rescued the Hawks as they drew 2-2 with Poole

Bradbury laments ‘awful goals’ after Hawks rescue point

0
Have your say

Lee Bradbury is set to give his players on the fringes of the Hawks’ squad an opportunity to impress.

The Westleigh Park outfit begin the defence of their Portsmouth Senior Cup title tonight at Petersfield (7.45pm).

The fixture is a repeat of last season’s final, with Bradbury’s men romping to a 5-0 victory against the Rams at Fratton Park.

The Hawks go into the tie on the back of Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Poole Town in National League South.

Bradbury is likely to ring the changes, with the likes of Jordan Rose, Lee Molyneaux and Alfie Rutherford all expected to start at Love Lane.

The Westleigh Park boss has told his fringe players to grasp their chance in order to win a regular starting spot in the league.

‘We’ll be looking at putting in a strong performance away at Petersfield,’ Bradbury said.

‘I was disappointed in the way we played on Saturday against Poole.

‘It’s a good chance for the players to put that performance to bed and go into next Saturday’s trip to Braintree with a positive mindset.

‘There will be five or six changes in my side.

‘I have got to use the opportunity to the players who haven’t featured so much recently some minutes.

‘If they are called upon for league duty, it means they will be fit and ready to go.

‘It’s about them going on the pitch and doing their jobs, whether that is against Petersfield in the Portsmouth Senior Cup or in the league.

‘They have got to take every opportunity and minute they get to try to win a shirt and that’s something I’m looking for these players to do.’

The Hawks manager was disappointed with his troops’ draw against Poole.

Alfie Rutherford came off the bench and rescued the hosts a point with an 88th-minute equaliser.

The former Pompey youngster’s impact pleased his boss and the impressive impact means he is vying for a place in attack.

The Westleigh Park club face a difficult trip to league-leaders Braintree United on Saturday.

Bradbury has insisted a win against struggling Wessex League premier division side Petersfield can give his side a much-needed confidence boost.

He added: ‘I’m pleased Alfie came on and won us a point because he’s had to remain patient.

‘He’s got plenty of potential, he’s a natural goalscorer and has the ability to not let it affect his game if he misses a chance.

‘I was disappointed with the way we played on Saturday.

‘However, we have the opportunity to put that performance to bed and go into Saturday’s game at Braintree with a positive mindset.

‘We won’t be taking the game against Petersfield lightly.’