Hawks aim to continue forward momentum

Ben Swallow. Picture: Mick Young
Ben Swallow. Picture: Mick Young
Ryan Pennery. Picture: Neil Marshall

Carter: Braintree clash can be good barometer

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Lee Bradbury has called on the Hawks to keep on the front foot against Hayes & Yeading in their Vanarama National South encounter at Westleigh Park tonight (7.45pm).

Bradbury insists his side must maintain their momentum by beating one of their relegation-battling rivals.

The Hawks moved three points above the drop-zone with their 2-0 win against Dartford.

But boss Bradbury wants to see them open up a bigger gap.

The manager is expected to stick with his positive approach, playing 4-4-2, which paid dividends in their last game.

With Shamir Mullings suspended he recalled strikers Matt Paterson and James Hayter with the latter scoring both goals.

With wingers Ben Swallow and newcomer George Barker providing the supply the Hawks possessed a greater attacking edge.

Bradbury is keen to see more of the same.

He added: ‘We need to carry on where we left off against Dartford.’

‘I thought it was our most complete performance for some time.

‘The players worked hard off the ball, created problems with it, and we kept a clean sheet.

‘We dominated and didn’t allow our standards to dip at any time.

‘The next week is an important period and over Easter the league table can change very quickly.

‘I am looking for us to win at home and get something from the game at Eastbourne Borough on Monday.

‘That would make it a good holiday period for us.’

Mullings returns to the squad but may have to be satisfied with a place on the bench.

The same applies to loanee defender James Haran, who also returns from a one-match ban.

His replacement Andy Robinson had an outstanding debut alongside Josh Hill in the centre of defence.

Bradbury was impressed with both Robinson and Barker who joined from Gosport Borough.

The Hawks boss added: ‘If they started as they mean to go on, the pair of them will be great for us.

‘Andy Robinson can play in midfield or in the centre of defence and is very calm on the ball.

‘We know George Barker is dangerous on the ball.

‘But he also showed a great appetite to work back and help his defenders.

‘When we keep working from start to finish like we did against Dartford we win games.

‘I think three wins from our last eight games should do it and we cannot relax until we are mathematically safe.’

Defender Brian Dutton, with a calf injury, and long-term casualty Adrian Clifton are both unlikely to be involved tonight.

Meanwhile, the Hawks will face Winchester City in the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup at St Mary’s on Tuesday, April 12 (7.45pm).

You must buy your ticket in advance and they will be on sale at the club from tonight. They are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Hill, Robinson, Medway, Stock, Donnelly, Barker, Paterson, Hayter, Swallow, Haran, Cummings, Ciardini, Mitchell, Lewis, Mullings.