THE HAWKS have been forced to call off their planned pre-season game at AFC Totton tonight because of their mounting injury problems.
Manager Lee Bradbury has only 12 fit players to chose from ahead of their visit to their Southern League hosts.
Brian Stock, Jordan Rose, Dan Strugnell, Mike Carter and Andreas Robinson all missed the 2-0 win over Farnborough at the weekend.
An injury to Bradley Tarbuck added to the problems when he hobbled off in the second half.
‘It is disappointing for both clubs but we had little option,’ said Bradbury.
‘The injuries are worrying because a lot of them are senior players.
‘We face a race against time to get the players fit for the start of the season.
‘It would have been detrimental to play a game at this point.’
Baffins Milton Rovers start their preparations for their first-ever season in the Wessex League with a friendly against Moneyfields at the Kendall Stadium (7.45pm).
Manager Louis Bell is excited by the squad he has assembled for the new season, including the signing of experienced midfielder Lewis Stockford.
‘Lewis is a quality player and can have a big influence for us,’ said the Baffins boss.
‘You can see at training he can easily be playing at a much higher level.
‘We have also had a few players come back to us like Chaz Gardner and Dean Harris who were not available last season.
‘With the support of chairman Steve Cripps I have managed to get most of the players on my wish list.
‘A lot of time and money has also been spent on the ground and pitch which is looking really good.
‘We are hoping to attract a good crowd to watch.’
With manager Dave Carter away, Matt Jones and Mick Catlin will be in charge of Moneyfields.
The Dover Road outfit have, however, suffered a big blow ahead of their first season in the Southern League.
Striker Howard Neighbour dislocated an ankle in a friendly at Alresford Town and may miss three months.
‘He is looking at a lengthy lay-off,’ said Catlin.
‘We will be sending a mixed squad to Baffins.
‘There are a couple of youngsters we want to look at and a few players are carrying knocks.’
Fareham Town travel to Clanfield at Peel Park (7pm).
– KEVIN RICKETTS