Hawks told to take chance to move clear

Alex Grant has impressed during his Hawks loan spell from Pompey   Picture: Dave Haines
Alex Grant has impressed during his Hawks loan spell from Pompey Picture: Dave Haines
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The Hawks have been told to take their chance to move a big step closer to safety tonight.

Fresh from their confidence-boosting 3-0 success at home to Sutton United on Saturday, Lee Bradbury’s side are back at Westleigh Park as they take on Bath City.

The Hawks are in good form on their own patch, winning three and drawing one of their previous four games – and scoring 14 goals in the process.

Bradbury is challenging his players to use that as a springboard to make further progress up the Blue Square Bet South table.

And with three of their next four games at home, the Hawks have a great opportunity to push on.

‘We have now lost just once in our past eight games,’ said Bradbury.

‘If we can keep that sort of run going, then we will soon be in mid-table with a number of games left to go.

‘We have shown we are hard to beat away from home and now we are starting to turn draws into wins.

‘I thought we played well to beat Sutton who were a strong, physical side in good form themselves.

‘But we are enjoying playing at home where the players are starting to express themselves more.’

Beating Sutton took the Hawks up to 15th in the table, five points above the relegation zone.

Bradbury is looking upwards, knowing his team can leapfrog Bath by beating them tonight.

He will be disappointed if the Hawks don’t grab their chance but accepts it won’t be easy.

The visitors have pace and a number of experienced players in their ranks.

‘We will have to play well again because Bath are capable of tripping us up,’ said Bradbury.

‘There are no easy games in this league.

‘I felt a lot of our goals have come late in games so, at the weekend, I challenged the players to go out and score first.

‘We shall aim to do the same again and, if we do, we will stand a good chance of going on and winning the game.’

Midfielder Steve Ramsey is available again after serving a three-match ban for his sending off at Farnborough.

The only absentee for the Hawks is striker Scott Jones who is still resting after his horrendous collision with the goalkeeper in the Salisbury game last month.

The performances of young full-back Alex Grant, who is on loan from Pompey, have been key to the Hawks’ resilience at the back.

Grant hardly put a foot wrong in the win over Sutton and provided a superb pass to start the move for the second goal, which was scored by Ollie Palmer.

Grant will be keen to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Dan Butler, who is now in the senior ranks at Pompey.

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Strugnell, Harris, Grant, Arthur, Kewley-Graham, Nanetti, Ryan, Hutchinson, Palmer, Kabba, Ighorae, Woodford, Hinshelwood, Bossman