Cash back for Hawks

Leon Cashman will start at centre-back at Lewes
Leon Cashman will start at centre-back at Lewes
Dave Carter. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Royal Navy defender Leon Cashman is back as the Hawks take on Lewes at the Dripping Pan (3pm).

His return couldn’t have been timed better as central defender Sam Pearce is ruled out by a one-match suspension.

Cashman, who usually plays at full-back, has made limited appearances this season because of his navy duties in Plymouth but Hawks manager Shaun Gale is confident he can fill the gap in the heart of defence tomorrow.

‘He is big and strong in the air and is a good athlete,’ said Gale.

‘The lad has played in the position before for us and has all the attributes.

‘In midweek, he played at centre-half for the navy against Sussex and did well.

‘It is a shame that he isn’t available to us every week but having him back this weekend is a bonus.’

The Hawks are also without striker Giuseppe Sole who starts a two-match ban for comments he made to the referee after the defeat at Farnborough last month.

His pace and eye for goal will be badly missed as the Hawks look to return to winning ways after last week’s defeat at the hands of Ebbsfleet.

The visitors are, however, boosted by the return from suspension of Wes Fogden and Mustafa Tiryaki.

Despite the setback at West Leigh Park last Saturday, Gale can take some comfort from his side’s away record, having already chalked up five wins on the road this season.

In their last away outing, the Hawks impressively robbed high-flying Chelmsford City of their unbeaten home record.

The visitors will, therefore, set off confident they can add to their tally of away wins but know it won’t be easy.

Lewes are fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the Blue Square South table and that will make them dangerous hosts.

The Sussex club have also drafted in a number of new players and are enjoying a resurgence of form.

‘Lewes are going well at the moment and teams down there have a habit of finding that little bit extra,’ said Gale.

‘They are scrapping for their lives and it is never an easy place to go to.

‘If they’d had the players they have got now at the start of the season they probably wouldn’t be where they are.’

The Hawks will have to tighten up at the back if they are to come away with anything tomorrow.

Against Ebbsfleet, they shipped three poor goals and can’t afford to repeat that generosity in Sussex.

If Gale’s men are to launch a late bid for the play-offs, they must start putting a winning run together.

They still have games in hand on many of the teams above them but time is running out to close the gap.

Gale defiantly insists his side are not out of the running but admits they will have to be more consistent if they are to stand any chance.

‘It is all a bit bitty at the moment,’ he said.

‘We win a couple of games and then we lose a couple or they get called off.

‘We have not been able to pick up any momentum and must start putting together a few wins.

‘Five or six consecutive wins can propel us back up there.’

Hawks: Howe, Ashmore, Newton, Cashman, Simpemba, McDonald, Selley, Keehan, Hinshelwood, Fogden, Williams, Tiryaki, Igoe, Ramsey, Gadd.