Bradbury: Cup run won’t take priority

JJ Hooper scored for the Hawks on Saturday against Swindon Supermarine. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
JJ Hooper scored for the Hawks on Saturday against Swindon Supermarine. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman (170972-31)

Bradbury hails his steely Hawks

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Lee Bradbury admitted promotion is still the priority after his side enjoyed a 3-0 win against Swindon Supermarine to reach the final qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The Hawks famously defeated York City, Notts County and Swansea City in the FA Cup seven years ago – a run that landed them a dream tie with Liverpool.

Bradbury, however, warned fans not to get carried away, especially at this early stage of the competition, and admitted promotion would ultimately take priority.

He said: ‘It’s too early in the competition to start talking about cup runs.

‘We have a lot of games to play, and we’re in a good position at the moment.

‘If I had to pick out of promotion or a Cup run, it would of course be promotion.

‘We still have plenty of games that need to be played and a lot of minutes to go through.

‘To talk about what we’d prioritise would be disrespectful, especially at this stage.’

JJ Hooper and Ed Harris netted and a superb solo effort from Josh Huggins rounded off the scoring for the Hawks against the Southern League South & West side.

Bradbury’s men have now gone six games without conceding a goal.

They are looking in really good shape after a difficult start to the season.

The Hawks boss was delighted with the way his team dealt with what could have been a difficult test at Westleigh Park.

He was expecting the visitors to try to make it tough for his side to play their football.

Bradbury said: ‘I thought we approached the game well, we’ve been in superb form of late.

‘This was always going to be a difficult one though.

‘Teams come here and try to disrupt our play.

‘But I thought we coped well and, in the end, won the game comfortably.’

It wasn’t all good news at Westleigh Park, however.

With five minutes remaining, the Hawks were reduced to 10 men after Brian Stock picked up his second booking of the game.

Bradbury felt the decision was a bit tough on Stock.

He said: ‘I think the sending off was a little bit harsh.

‘He’s gone to clear the ball down the line and, actually, the opposing player has kicked Brian’s foot with his studs – the referee could’ve at least asked the linesman on his opinion, because the referee was blind-side and certainly couldn’t see it.’

Bradbury also admitted the red card incident wasn’t the only contentious decision the referee made.

He felt a tackle on Stock early in the second half should have been picked up by the official and was unhappy no action was taken.

Bradbury said: ‘Stock being wiped clean out onto the floor, off the ball, was missed by the referee too, meaning nothing got done about that either.

‘It was a frustrating day with regards to that – the referee just wasn’t consistent enough for me.

‘But we won the game and are through. That’s what matters.’

Hawks: Ryan Young, Dan Strugnell, Warren Cummings, Brian Stock, Brian Dutton, Ed Harris, Nic Ciardini (Ben Swallow 73mins), Scott Donnelly, JJ Hooper, Bradley Bubb (Shamir Mullings 85mins), Josh Huggins. Unused subs: Ryan Woodford, Perry Ryan, Daniel Blanchett, Charlie Searle