Hawks boosted by Arthur return

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Northampton Town V Gillingham

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The Hawks expect to be boosted by the return of Chris Arthur ahead of their Blue Square Bet South trip to Tonbridge Angels (3pm).

The left-sided wide player shone earlier this season when he made three appearances for the Hawks before being snapped up by League Two outfit Northampton Town.

Following the managerial appointment of Aidy Boothroyd at Sixfields, Arthur found himself released earlier this week.

But the Hawks were quick to invite him back and manager Shaun Gale is hopeful the paperwork can be completed in time for him to be included in his plans this weekend.

‘It will be good to have Chris Arthur back because he did well for us before,’ said Gale.

‘Obviously, he’s disappointed to be released by Northampton but has told us he enjoyed himself at our club and would love to come back.

‘He will be a welcome addition and gives us greater options.

‘The lad can play at full-back or wide on the left where he has the ability to get past people and deliver quality ball into good areas.’

Gale is determined to get back into the thick of it after a two-week break from action.

Arthur’s arrival will help boost his options – as will the return of a few of his injured players.

‘The last two weeks has helped us get a few of our walking wounded back and we needed that with the Christmas period coming up.

‘It is looking like I am going to have more of my squad to choose from – unlike the last few games when we have lacked bodies.

‘Having players back will strengthen our supply lines to the front two who have struggled a bit recently.’

Craig Braham-Barrett and Lee Peacock still haven’t returned to training but could still be involved against Tonbridge.

Meanwhile, Jon McDonald and Sammy Igoe should be okay after shaking off groin and hamstring problems.

Defender Leon Cashman is also available for selection once again after returning from sea duties with the Royal Navy.

Gale has to decide, though, whether to continue with Chris Holland in the centre of the defence after he was sent off in the Hampshire Senior Cup game at Blackfield & Langley recently.

But a more pressing priority is getting his side, who have gone six games without a win, back to winning ways.

It won’t be easy against their top-10 hosts who boast the league’s leading goalscorer, Frannie Collin, who has already notched 16 times this season.

‘Tonbridge have some good, experienced players and have done well after getting promoted last season,’ said Gale.

‘It is important, though, that we go there and go into the Christmas games in the correct manner.

‘The players are chomping at the bit after their break and we are going there to get a result.’

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

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