Portchester won’t change their style

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman (170972-31)

Bradbury hails his steely Hawks

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Glenn Bridgman insists he will stick to his principles, despite seeing his AFC Portchester side undone by long-ball football at the weekend.

The Portchester boss saw his men denied an opening-day victory in their Wessex League premier division 3-3 draw with a physical Hamworthy United at the weekend and will be bidding to register their first win of the campaign in tonight’s home clash with Alresford Town (7.45pm).

After Portchester were caught out by three set-pieces and eventually pegged back by Hamworthy’s long-ball tactics, Bridgman hopes his side’s style will earn its deserved rewards tonight.

He said: ‘Hamworthy didn’t play football – they just play long-ball football and scored all three goals from set-pieces.

‘I believe the game should be played differently and I want my team to play proper football.

‘We will come up against some teams who want to play, but I’m sure there are plenty that are just direct, big and physical teams. We have to be prepared for that.

‘But our two central midfielders are only small lads and I’m not looking for the giants who can only play kick and rush.’

While it’s important that Portchester get a win on the board as quickly as possible following last season’s promotion, Bridgman remains confident in his side’s hopes.

He said: ‘We will shock a lot of teams this season.

‘Hamworthy came down thinking it would be a walk in the park. They finished seventh last season and we got promoted but we deserved to win the game.

‘We’re a young side with an average age of 23 so we lack a bit of experience.

‘But I’ve got seven or eight players who could easily play at two or three levels above this. If I can keep them together for the next few seasons, I will have a brilliant team when they all mature.’

Meanwhile, Moneyfields will be bidding to improve on last season’s fourth-placed finish as they start their campaign with a trip to New Milton Town.