Hawks FA Cup dreams are over

AFC Portchester cruised to victory. Picture: Neil Marshall

Frustration for Fareham... Royals cruise through

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Lee Bradbury has urged his Hawks troops to learn from their FA Cup deflation.

The Westleigh Park outfit saw their hopes of another famous run ended at the first-round stage in a 3-0 loss to League Two outfit Preston North End.

Brian Dutton, left, and JJ Hooper leave the pitch dejected after the Cup loss against Preston Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Brian Dutton, left, and JJ Hooper leave the pitch dejected after the Cup loss against Preston Picture: Ian Hargreaves

The Hawks had two men sent off in Brian Stock and Warren Cummings as the prospects of a big Cup upset went up in flames.

But Bradbury believes there were positives to take as he turns his attentions back to the club’s push for Conference South promotion.

He said: ‘It’s obviously disappointing to lose and to lose two men to red cards.

‘But, for me, it’s a game we can learn from.

‘Preston are a good outfit and it was a tough task.

‘We’ve been in fantastic form and have only lost one of our past 13 games.

‘We have to pick ourselves up and go again.

‘It won’t be hard to lift the players.

‘Last night was a fantastic occasion for the club to have been involved in and it was great to see so many fans come in their numbers.

‘But we’ve got to remember that we were playing against a quality team.

‘A lot of my players have played against players they will not face every week in our league. But that is a good experience for them.’

Bradbury added: ‘We lost the early goal and it gave us a mountain to climb when it was 2-0 at half-time.

‘But we kept going really well, even when we were down to nine men.’

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