Hungry Hawks keen to taste Trophy glory

Nigel Atangana scored the only goal of the game as the Hawks saw off Ebbsfleet in the last round Picture: Dave Haines

Nigel Atangana scored the only goal of the game as the Hawks saw off Ebbsfleet in the last round Picture: Dave Haines

Aaron Dawson. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Gosport aim to give loyal fans something to cheer at home

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Lee Bradbury reckons the Hawks’ hunger can spur them on to FA Trophy glory against Skrill Premier visitors Aldershot Town tomorrow (3pm).

The Hawks entertain their Hampshire rivals in the quarter-finals of the competition, having played only two games over the past four weeks because of waterlogged pitches.

That’s not the best preparation ahead of the Westleigh Park side’s biggest game of the season to date.

However, Bradbury believes the Hawks can use it to their advantage.

‘Our players are chomping at the bit to get playing again,’ said Bradbury.

‘They are hungry and can’t wait for this one.

‘It is a massive game and they know if they get through they will be within a two-legged semi-final of playing at Wembley.

‘That is a terrific incentive for both teams.

‘My players are determined to give it their best shot and, whatever the result, will come off on their hands and knees.

‘If we go down then we will go down fighting.’

The biggest problem facing the Westleigh Park club, however, could once again be the weather.

With more heavy rain forecast today and overnight, the game could be in doubt.

The Hawks have lost their past two Saturday Skrill South league games to the rain and the last thing they need is another postponement.

The club remain optimistic, though, having taken steps during the week to try to solve some of the problems.

Experts have been consulted about a 30-square-yard area of the pitch causing a particular problem.

The club also intend covering the pitch to try to minimise the effect of the latest bout of rain.

If the Hawks succeed in their efforts, it will be the first time in the competition they have met higher-league opposition.

To reach this stage they have defeated Basingstoke Town, Whitehawk and Ebbsfleet United – all from Skrill South.

Bradbury knows Aldershot will present the stiffest test yet, though.

‘Aldershot are a team in good form, despite losing at Nuneaton in midweek,’ said Bradbury.

‘Up until then they had only lost one of their previous seven games. They have real quality in their front line and will ask plenty of questions of our defence.

‘We can be confident, though. Defensively, we have looked very sound and answered any questions asked of us.

‘There is a great spirit in the squad, with all the players working hard for each other.

‘We also know if we can keep it tight at the back we have the quality to cause them problems at the other end.

‘It promises to be a real ding-dong cup tie and it would be great if the locals can turn up and get behind us.’

Bradbury has a full squad to choose from, apart from Warren Cummings and new-boy Scott Donnelly, who are both cup-tied.

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