The Hawks are aiming for a fourth consecutive clean sheet as Skrill South basement side Dorchester Town visit Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).
Lee Bradbury’s side have not conceded a goal in 270 minutes of football – and he believes their good organisation at the back can lay the foundations for success in both the league and FA Trophy.
The experience of Ed Harris and Pedro Monteiro in the heart of the defence is paying dividends and full-back Jake Newton is as reliable as ever.
Trophy-tied Warren Cummings also comes back into the squad, adding to the Hawks’ wealth of experience at the back.
Behind them they have giant goalkeeper Scott Bevan who has also shown his quality – particularly in the FA Trophy replay against Basingstoke on Monday night.
When the Dragons had the Hawks under the cosh in the second half of that game, Bevan pulled off a string of match-winning saves.
One, in particular, when he tipped Wes Daly’s goalbound drive on to the crossbar, was an outstanding piece of shot-stopping.
‘We have shown in recent games a willingness to put our bodies on the line, win our defensive headers to stay resilient and that has been pleasing,’ said Bradbury.
‘Goalkeeper Scott Bevan has pulled off some great saves but he is also a great organiser and talker at the back.
‘The period before and over Christmas is important and we have a series of games where we can look to be successful.
‘It isn’t always that easy, though, and we will have to make sure we do things right against Dorchester.
‘They may be at the bottom but they have had some good results lately, particularly their win at Sutton United.
‘There is a lot of youth and energy in their team but the manager has them working hard so we will have to make sure that we match their work-rate.
‘Dorchester are fighting for their lives at the bottom and will come to us with little to lose.’
Bradbury could be forced into reshuffling his forward resources, with three of his regular strikers struggling to shake off injuries.
Dennis Oli, Scott Jones and Christian Nanetti are all doubts.
Oli picked up a hip injury and could hardly walk after the midweek game and Nanetti is still troubled by his tight hamstring.
Because of the problem, the winger is finding it impossible to fire on all cylinders at the moment.
Jones is struggling with a leg injury and was forced off early in the second half against Basingstoke.
If all are ruled out, it will leave just Sahr Kabba as the Hawks’ only real option up front. He won’t pose much of an aerial threat – but Kabba’s pace and outstanding close-control will cause the visitors problems.
In the past two home games, the diminutive striker has scored two outstanding individual goals.
Both times he has weaved his way past defenders before producing a clinical finish.
‘Not many players can do what he can with regards to balance and ability to move the ball quickly between feet,’ added Bradbury.
Hawks: Bevan, Newton, Harris, Monteiro, Cummings, Atangana, Ryan, Ciardini, Kabba, Jones, Nanetti, Oli, Ramsey, Woodford, Strugnell, Kewley-Graham, Przespolewski, Hutchinson