Hawks asked to keep it clean

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury, right, with assistant manager Shaun Gale
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury, right, with assistant manager Shaun Gale
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman (170972-31)

Bradbury hails his steely Hawks

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The Hawks have been warned to clean up their act on the pitch between now and the end of the season.

Club secretary Trevor Brock admitted the Westleigh Park outfit have received a letter from the Vanarama Conference South expressing concern about their mounting disciplinary points.

Going into the game against Weston-super-Mare on Saturday, the Hawks were fourth in the Conference South ‘bad boys’ table behind Maidenhead United, Sutton United and St Albans City, who have also been notified about their conduct on the pitch.

In recent weeks Lee Bradbury’s men have also had four players sent off in their five FA Cup games.

Brian Stock saw red against Swindon Supermarine and Nic Ciardini got his marching orders at Canvey Island.

Meanwhile, in the high-profile Cup clash against Preston North End, which was broadcast live on TV, Stock and Warren Cummings both picked up red cards in the second half.

The rising tide of bookings and dismissals means the Hawks will be without key players for crucial games.

But Bradbury insists discipline is not a problem within his squad.

‘We obviously need to go out and compete but at the same time don’t want to be giving away silly yellow cards and sending offs,’ said Bradbury.

‘We have had a few lately but it is treading that fine line between competing and being professional.

‘I take it very seriously and it is something that I insist upon.

‘We have a code of conduct, a fines system in place and disciplinary action is taken.

‘It is difficult because you want your team to go out and tackle.

‘Some of the decisions that have gone against us have been laughable.’

The Hawks picked up another three bookings in the 1-0 win over Weston-super-Mare at the weekend.

Stock found himself in the referee’s notebook again for a challenge at the start of the second half.

Cummings then joined him after getting involved in a melee that kicked off after the incident.

Later in the game, central-defender Ed Harris also saw yellow after the referee’s assistant spotted an off-the-ball incident.

Bradbury wasn’t convinced the bookings were necessary.

‘I don’t think the first incident was a yellow card offence,’ he added.

‘The ball has come over Stock’s shoulder and all he does is try to reach the ball.

‘Their player runs into him and then Warren gets his card off the back of it, following an altercation with Tom Jordan.

‘It is all avoidable to me.

‘If the referee keeps calm, just gives the free-kick and moves on everybody puts their handbags away.

‘At the end of the day the last thing we want is to have players missing through suspension.

‘We can’t afford that in our push to make the play-offs.’

Meanwhile, the Hawks have been handed a home draw in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

They will play hosts to either East Thurrock or Arlesey Town, who drew 4-4 at the weekend on Saturday, November 29.