Gale eyes six of the best at Westleigh

Shaun Gale. Picture: Dave Haines
Shaun Gale. Picture: Dave Haines
Jack Breed heads towards goal. Picture: Keith Woodland (171011-0049)

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The Hawks start a demanding period with the visit of Dartford in the Blue Square Bet South to Westleigh Park (3pm).

The Kent outfit have only lost twice in 10 games on their travels this season and currently sit in fourth place.

Meanwhile, the struggling Hawks have failed to deliver consistently on their home patch.

Shaun Gale’s men have drawn four and lost three of their 11 fixtures at Westleigh Park.

And it is a record the boss is determined to improve as he bids to propel the Hawks up the table.

‘We need to start winning more of our home games,’ said Gale.

‘Our next two are at home and we have to target a maximum six points. We have put in some decent performances but our results have been patchy.

‘That has been the story of our season so far but we are unbeaten in our last five games.

‘It is no coincidence that our decent bit of form has come at a time when we have started to get players back.

‘Earlier in the season we were forced to change things around because of injuries and suspensions.

‘When we can get our strongest side out there we can be a match for everyone.’

Gale still has to do without suspended defender Chris Holland and striker Ollie Palmer.

The manager is disappointed in the reasons for the absence of both players.

Hawks skipper Holland was sent off for dissent in the Hampshire Senior Cup at Blackfield & Langley and has been disciplined by the club for his indiscretion.

Palmer, meanwhile, jetted out to the Caribbean for a two-week holiday over Christmas.

And Gale isn’t sure when he returns, although he definitely misses this weekend.

‘I am not overly pleased to lose my top scorer because he is on holiday,’ said Gale.

‘When he signed, the player told me he had this prior engagement but would try to get out of it.

‘Even two weeks ago he was still hoping to change it.

‘As a manager and as a player, I have never been on holiday during the football season and it is disappointing.

‘Until he contacts me and lets me know when he is coming back, I am as much in the dark as everybody else.

‘What Chris Holland did at Blackfield was totally out of character but we can’t afford that sort of indiscipline. We have dealt with it in house.’

Gale believes the Dartford game will provide some indication of how far his team have come in recent weeks.

Sitting just five points above the bottom three, he also knows they can’t afford many more slip-ups.

Hawks: Beazley, Newton, McDonald, Ramsey, Pearce, Woodford, Arthur, Cashman, Hopkinson, Ryan, Igoe, Ramsey, Braham-Barrett, Jones, Peacock, Hinshelwood, Whyte, Geteski, Norton