Gale’s mad Keehan on new signing

Hawks boss Shaun Gale
Hawks boss Shaun Gale
Baffins Milton Rovers found it tough against Portland. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Joe Keehan is in the frame for a Hawks debut as the injury-hit outfit face a difficult trip to fourth-placed Farnborough in Blue Square South.

The attacking midfielder arrived on loan from premier division Rushden & Diamonds this week.

And he is a welcome addition to Shaun Gale’s ranks, with injury problems continuing to mount.

Bobby Hopkinson broke his leg and dislocated his ankle in the clash with Boreham Wood last week and there are doubts over Ian Selley after he broke his hand at Eastleigh on Monday.

With Sammy Igoe still struggling for fitness and Manny Williams not certain to be back from Sierra Leone after a family bereavement, the Hawks once again find themselves down to the bare bones.

Gale is hoping the presence of Keehan will give his men a boost as well as adding to their firepower.

‘He has a proven goalscoring record at both Blue Square Premier and South level,’ said the boss.

‘He scored against us on New Year’s Day when on loan with Woking, now I am hoping he can do the same for us.

‘He is a player I have been tracking and I almost got him to come here last season.

‘We need to start scoring more goals and he is capable of doing that from midfield.

‘He can give us an extra presence in the box.’

The Hawks have a good record on their travels this season but Farnborough will be a big test.

With former West Leigh Park men Gary Holloway and Paul Booth in their ranks, they possess a couple of match-winners.

Farnborough already boast a comfortable 3-0 win over an understrength Hawks side just before Christmas and will be confident of completing the double. They will also be smarting after last week’s heavy 4-1 defeat at Dartford.

‘This is another tough game against one of the highly-fancied sides in our league,’ said Gale.

‘And we owe them because we did not play very well against them at home.

‘Since then we have managed to get a couple of players back and I believe we have the quality to go there and get a result.

‘We are, though, in a situation where we could have Williams, Selley and Leon Cashman available or we could be without all three.’

Gale is investigating the possibility of providing Selley with a protective cast for his hand.

Meanwhile, he is awaiting news from Williams and is hoping Cashman is back from his Royal Navy duties.

The involvement of all three would make a big difference to the Hawks’ chances.

‘I will be led by our medical team on Selley,’ said Gale.

‘In Phil Ashwell and Gary Sadler we have two vastly experienced figures and they will know best.

‘Ian is desperate to play but another bang on his hand could see him needing major surgery.

‘We got a good point at Weston-super-Mare in our last away game, though it should really have been all three.

‘The injury situation is crippling us but we are determined to keep going.’

Meanwhile, former East-leigh forward Jamie Brown has emerged as a Hawks transfer target.

However, Gale faces a battle to secure the services of the forward – who left the Spitfires in December – as Wessex League premier division leaders Winchester City are desperate to keep him.

Hawks: Howe, Newton, Pearce, Simpemba, Cashman, McDonald, Keehan, Fogden, Ramsey, Hinshelwood, Selley, Tiryaki, Williams, Sole, Edwards, Baldacchino, Ashmore.