Bradbury eyes upset as Hawks battle Fleet

Lee Bradbury has every confidence the Hawks can surprise National League South hosts Ebbsfleet United in the FA Cup third qualifying round tomorrow (3pm).

Friday, 30th September 2016, 8:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:14 pm
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Paul Jacobs

His side are playing with confidence having gone eight games unbeaten in the Ryman League premier division.

They have also disposed of minnows Sholing Sports and Highworth Town in the previous rounds.

Bradbury is under no illusions, however, that Ebbsfleet will provide them with their toughest examination yet.

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Despite this, he believes the Hawks are more than up for the challenge.

Bradbury said: ‘It is the toughest possible draw we could have got.

‘It is a big ask but I don’t see why we can’t go there and get a result because we are in great form at the moment.

‘We are realistic but at the end of the day I fancy us to cause an upset.

‘At this moment we are a league below them but we are going well.

‘We won’t roll over and if a team is going to beat us then they will know that they have been in a game.

‘That is all I can ask from the players and their attitude has been great.

‘We are not going there thinking we are going to lose the game.

‘It won’t be a case of sitting off them, we will be going to try to win it.

‘That is how we have been winning games and I don’t want to change what we have been good at.’

The Hawks will need to display all the battling qualities they showed in their 3-2 win over Worthing in midweek.

Trailing by two goals at the break, they looked on the way to surrendering their unbeaten home record.

Instead, the Hawks turned the game on its head with two goals at the start of the second half.

Then, at the death, Lee Molyneaux popped up to snatch a stoppage-time winner.

Ebbsfleet had representatives in the stand watching the game and will have learned a few things about the Hawks.

That includes the vulnerability to quick counter-attacking football they showed in the first-half.

Also, though, they will be aware of the Hawks’ never-say-die spirit which can be invaluable in cup-ties.

Bradbury is boosted by the news his squad boast a full bill of health going into the game, which gives him plenty of options.

‘I think Ebbsfleet will know that they have been in a game, whatever the result,’ said Bradbury.

‘Defensively we have been solid and both the goals we conceded against Worthing were ‘freak’ efforts.

‘We also have the quality in our side to cause opponents problems going forward.

‘The togetherness and spirit in the squad is terrific.

‘For the first time in the competition this season we are the ‘small fish’ and all the pressure will be on Ebbsfleet.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Molyneaux, Williams, Lewis, Robinson, Swallow, Paterson, Prior, Barker, Harris, Stock, Fogden, Hayter, Rutherford, Tarbuck, Medway, Walker-Harris.