Bradbury expecing Trophy thriller

Pedro Monteiro's rare error helped Gosport take the lead at Westleigh Park. Picture: Malcolm Wells
Pedro Monteiro's rare error helped Gosport take the lead at Westleigh Park. Picture: Malcolm Wells
Andreas Robinson. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injury crisis remains a pain for Hawks

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Lee Bradbury believes the Hawks can capitalise on increased pressure on Gosport as the teams chase FA Trophy glory at Privett Park tomorrow (3pm).

A big crowd is expected to witness the two sides battle it out for a place in the Wembley final against either Cambridge or Grimsby.

With such a huge prize at stake, a tense afternoon is in store for both teams.

But despite being held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Bradbury believes his team still possess the extra quality to come out on top.

‘The tie remains very much in the balance,’ said Bradbury.

‘It is far from over. I have asked my players to be brave on the ball and build on the first leg.

‘Gosport managed to frustrate us by parking the bus and making it difficult to break them down.

‘Our pitch was also a major factor, not allowing us to play our normal passing game.

‘There will be more pressure on Gosport to try to win the game at home.

‘That might help, allowing us more room and space to attack them.’

Another heavy pitch is likely tomorrow.

That may force Bradbury to change his thinking a little.

The dribbling skills of Christian Nanetti were totally nullified by the heavily-sanded Westleigh Park pitch on Monday night.

The Italian winger was largely anonymous and replaced by Sahr Kabba for the second half.

If Kabba is fully fit then Bradbury may start with the pacy striker, who would look to exploit any mistakes in the Borough defence.

Targetman Dennis Oli made little impact in the first game and the Hawks need him to be more effective.

The visitors are unlikely to make any changes at the back.

Apart from a rare mistake by Pedro Monteiro, which led to Borough’s goal, they looked comfortable.

Meanwhile, the Hawks boss revealed his team have been putting in penalty practice – just in case the tie goes all the way to a shootout.

Bradbury reckons fans should expect a thriller, either way.

He said: ‘The first game was always going to be a cagey affair, with both teams making sure they stayed in the tie.

‘Both teams will need to show greater ambition in the second game.

‘It should make it a thriller.

‘We will need to have a sharper cutting edge in the final third, show patience and be a bit more creative.

‘Hopefully the playing surface will be better and allow us to pass the ball.

‘It is likely to be another close game and, just in case, we will be practising our penalties at training.’

Hawks captain Scott Bevan is set to line-up in goal. He’s confident his back problem will not keep him out.

Hawks: Bevan, Strugnell, Harris, Monteiro,

Blanchett, Atangana, Ryan, Ciardini, Kabba, Oli, Jones, Woodford, Nanetti, Hutchinson, Przespolewski, Buchel, Newton