Hawks confident heading into derby-day showdown

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury   Picture: Paul Jacobs

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Paul Jacobs

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Lee Bradbury believes the Hawks are in good shape heading into their Boxing Day National League South derby against Gosport Borough at Privett Park (3pm).

Two successive wins, over Forest Green Rovers in the FA Trophy and Concord Rangers in the league, have lifted the spirits of Bradbury’s team.

Our intention is to go to Gosport and try to win the game.

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury

There is a belief in the camp they can upset their play-off chasing hosts by coming away with a result.

The rivalry between the two clubs has intensified in the last few years and a full-blooded contest is on the cards in front of what is expected to be a bumper holiday crowd.

The points on offer are crucial to both teams.

A win for Borough could take them back into the play-off frame, while the Hawks need the points to lift them out of the bottom three.

Bradbury insists his team are turning the corner and are far better than their position in the league might suggest.

‘We just have to keep playing the way we have been,’ said Bradbury.

‘Good wins over Forest Green and Concord have seen some confidence come flooding back.

‘Our intention is to go to Gosport and try to win the game.

‘These are the sort of games players must want to be involved in and this is as big as they come as a derby for both teams.

‘Both teams will be going at it hammer and tongs to win the game and it should be a cracking affair.

‘It is important we go, give a good show of ourselves and most of all compete.

‘We are in a better position and certainly have a different mindset to a few weeks ago when we were struggling.

‘At the moment we have players who are looking forward to games.’

The game is given added spice by the fact the clubs contain players in their squads who have played for both teams – and may feel they have a point to prove to their previous employers.

Events earlier this season when the clubs clashed over transfer dealings will also give the game an extra edge.

The Hawks were upset when Borough made an 
offer to get Matt Paterson back to the club, believing it was an attempt to unsettle the striker.

In response, the Hawks made a counter-bid for Borough’s ace goalscorer Justin Bennett.

It is clear there is little love lost between the two clubs and both are keen to claim the south-coast bragging rights.

Hawks: Young, Medway, Strugnell, Molyneaux, Hill, Stock, Ciardini, Donnelly, Paterson, Swallow, Hayter, Mullings, Blanchett, Cummings, McCarthy, Thomson, Morgan

– KEVIN RICKETTS

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