Hawks ace’s role reversed for visit of old club

Hawks Nic Ciardini in action''Dave Haines (Photo credit should read Picture/s by Dave Haines)'
Hawks Nic Ciardini in action''Dave Haines (Photo credit should read Picture/s by Dave Haines)'
Theo Lewis scored for the Hawks in the 38th minute at Wealdstone. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Good show on the road as Hawks impress to beat Wealdstone

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Nic Ciardini spent five games last season desperately trying to keep the ball out of the Farnborough net – as a stand-in goalkeeper.

But how the midfielder would love to score against his former club tonight in the Hawks’ rearranged Skrill South clash with the Yellows at Westleigh Park (7.45pm).

The earlier meeting between the two sides this season was postponed at short notice after the visitors failed to meet guidelines set down by league chiefs following their exit from administration.

Ciardini spent 12 years at Farnborough, playing over 200 games.

But none of those will be as memorable as those he spent in goal last term.

‘When Farnborough lost their goalkeeper injured last season, they weren’t allowed to get anyone in on loan to replace him,’ explained Ciardini.

‘So I volunteered and it ended up as a bit of a joke situation with me staying there for five games.

‘Sometimes you have to be prepared to do these things when circumstances demand it.

‘We got a couple of wins and clean sheets so I didn’t do so badly.

‘If the defence is playing well in front of you then sometimes you don’t even have to make a save.’

Ciardini made the move to Westleigh Park after becoming disillusioned with life at Farnborough towards the end of last season.

The north Hampshire club were keen to retain his services but the midfielder felt it was time to move on.

As a free agent he spoke with Lee Bradbury and was soon sold on the club.

‘For personal reasons, I wasn’t happy with some of the things happening at Farnborough,’ said Ciardini.

‘I had become a bit distanced from it all and wasn’t happy.

‘That was reflected in some of my performances in the latter part of the season.

‘Farnborough made me an offer but it wasn’t for me.

‘When I came to Westleigh Park I was impressed with the manager, the chairman and how seriously they and the players were doing things.’

After signing a two-year contract at Westleigh Park, Ciardini worked hard during pre-season after admitting he wasn’t in the greatest shape.

That effort has already started to pay off – and in the past two games he has made an impact to give the Hawks a more competitive edge in midfield.

He is yet to break his goalscoring duck for his new side but would love to put that right against his old team-mates.

‘I definitely feel I can chip in with a few goals this season,’ said Ciardini.

The Hawks are waiting on the fitness of Jake Newton, Ed Harris, Perry Ryan, Pedro Monteiro and Dennis Oli ahead of tonight’s game but Scott Bevan is out.

Bradbury is hoping to bring in an experienced goalkeeper on loan to replace Bevan but, if unsuccessful, 18-year-old Charlie Searle will continue after making filling in on Saturday.