Ciardini out to Nic more goals

Nic Ciardini, right, celebrates with Scott Jones after scoring against Basingstoke. Picture: Dave Haines

Nic Ciardini, right, celebrates with Scott Jones after scoring against Basingstoke. Picture: Dave Haines

Jordan Rose competing for the Hawks in the final at Fratton Park. Picture: Sarah Standing

Rose completes Hawks deal and targets more success

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Nic Ciardini is aiming to boost his Hawks goal tally as Whitehawk return to Westleigh Park for a Skrill South battle tomorrow (3pm).

The ex-Farnborough midfielder has scored six goals so far this season – including one in the 3-1 FA Trophy replay win over the Sussex visitors.

He scored 12 goals for the Yellows last season and is determined to better that with the Hawks this time around.

A combative player, he is going from strength to strength and has proved a key figure in his side’s current nine-game unbeaten run.

‘I have got a lot fitter and gained a new lease of life,’ said Ciardini.

‘The gaffer has encouraged me to push on and get on the ball where I can deliver it into the danger areas.

‘My aim is to go on and beat last season’s goal record.

‘I have also been getting in more shots in and around the opposition area.

‘At the same time, I’m expected to work both ways down the flank.

‘We have all raised our game and that is reflected in our greater consistency.

‘As a team we look far more solid – apart from the blip against my old club last week.’

After starting the season on the substitutes’ bench, Ciardini has become a crucial man in the Hawks starting line-up.

He gives Lee Bradbury’s team a physical presence in the middle of the park.

His ability to get in behind opposition defences has proved a potent threat – and he has supplied much of the ammunition to the strikers.

He also works hard to get back and support the full-backs in their defensive duties.

Being an ex-Farnborough player, Ciardini felt it more than most when his team threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at the Paddy Power Stadium.

‘It was disappointing but we won’t beat ourselves up too much about it,’ he said.

‘The pitch was not good and proved a great leveller.

‘Knowing Farnborough well – after being there for many years – it didn’t surprise me when they threw everything at us in the second half.’

Ciardini is confident the Hawks will bounce back and secure another win over Whitehawk following their FA Trophy replay win last month.

He believes the overriding target for everybody in the squad is to push closer towards the play-off places.

‘We all know where we want to be, and with a lot of games coming up, we have a chance to push for it,’ said Ciardini.

Whitehawk will arrive intent on exacting revenge for their Trophy exit when they were well beaten on the night.

The two other games this season – both in Sussex – ended all-square, so the Hawks know their visitors are capable of making life difficult.

In the first league encounter, Bradbury’s side had to fight back from a two-goal half-time deficit with Scott Jones grabbing a brace.

The boss will want his team to get on the front foot early as that proved the key in the FA Trophy success.

Hawks: Bevan, Newton, Strugnall, Harris, Monteiro, Blanchett, Cummings, Ryan, Ciardini, Atangana, Kabba, Jones, Oli, Przespolewski, Woodford, Ramsey, Hutchinson, Nanetti

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