Confidence is high for Hawks

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Aaron Dawson. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Gosport aim to give loyal fans something to cheer at home

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Hawks boss Stuart Ritchie has challenged his players to build on their first win of the season when they take on Tonbridge Angels at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

The manner of the midweek Blue Square Bet South success over Hayes & Yeading has given the Hawks a huge boost.

Against all the odds, 10-man Hawks hit back from a goal down to win 2-1, with strikes from Arron Dawson and Steve Ramsey.

That kind of fighting spirit will be crucial as they look to bank three more league points tomorrow.

‘We showed great battling qualities,’ said Ritchie.

‘Hayes were no mugs but we displayed great determination and stuck to our task.

‘In the second half we got it tactically right, making it difficult for them to break us down and hitting them on the break.

‘We are still a work in progress but the players are slowly learning the way we want them to play.

‘The win has given us a confidence boost but it is important that we build on it.’

Ritchie brought in a number of new faces during the summer but it has been some of the players already at the club who have forced their way back into the reckoning.

Paul Hinshelwood and Ryan Woodford have been impressive and taken their chance.

‘I have no favourites and select players on merit,’ said Ritchie.

‘Importantly, the players have not sulked but knuckled down and earned their chance.’

Ritchie will consider taking Sam Pearce out of the firing line after his two consecutive red cards.

Full-back Jake Newton is still out with a knee injury that forced him to miss Guyana’s final stages of World Cup qualifying.

The Hawks boss is desperately hoping for a clean sheet as he looks to cement a sturdy defence moving forward.

‘A first clean sheet of the season would be nice,’ said Ritchie.

‘We keep going behind in games and making life difficult for ourselves.’

At the other end of the pitch there are no such concerns for the boss.

The Hawks possess a wealth of attacking options, with the likes of Ollie Palmer, Sahr Kabba, Ryan Moss and Scott Jones in the ranks.

And Ritchie’s midfielders are also capable of chipping in as shown in midweek, with Dawson and Ramsey on the mark.

Hawks: Masters, Arthur, Page, Woodford, Hinshelwood, Dawson, Ramsey, Hutchinson, Nanetti, Palmer, Kabba, Moss, Jones, Pearce, Taggart, Harris.

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