Bradbury: Hawks must stop conceding late on
Lee Bradbury is demanding greater concentration from the Hawks as they return to National League South action against Welling United at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).
Late defensive lapses in league losses to Truro City and St Albans City have caused the Hawks to drop four points.
If Bradbury’s men had have stayed switched on and earned draws in those games, they would be top of the table.
Even in the Hawks’ 2-1 FA Cup win against Merthyr Town last weekend the visitors almost snatched a late equaliser.
Only a bad miss from two yards prevented an unwanted midweek replay in Wales.
With the Hawks harbouring ambitions of capturing back-to-back titles, the Westleigh Park boss has insisted his troops must be stronger defensively.
Bradbury said: ‘We have conceded a few late goals this season and it is a habit we need to get out of.
‘Of the nine goals we have conceded so far, four of them have been after the 90-minute mark.
‘It is a trait we certainly aren’t proud of and need to put right.
‘We have to defend better in the final stages because those goals have made a big difference.
‘Without conceding those goals, we would be top of the league.
‘We have to become a team that not plays well in spells but for entire games.’
The Hawks have been boosted by the return of Jordan Rose from his month’s loan at Weymouth.
The powerful defender did well in his first game back against Merthyr.
He also featured in the 9-1 romp against Fleet Spurs in the second round of the Hampshire Senior Cup on Tuesday.
Bradbury believes Rose has benefited greatly from his short spell out on loan and has come back to Westleigh Park sharper.
‘It is great to have Jordan back playing with us again,’ the Hawks manager added.
‘He has come back from Weymouth a fitter and far sharper player.
‘It is good to see him doing so well in his first two games back.’
Bradbury is also encouraged by the return to training of fellow defenders Andreas Robinson and Dan Strugnell.
However, George Barker is likely to be out for at least three weeks with an ankle injury.
James Hayter is pushing for a starting place up front after netting a 77th-minute winner against Merthyr – just seconds after coming off the bench.
He added two more goals to his tally in the demolition of Fleet Spurs.
Welling arrive at Westleigh Park intent on making amends after their shock 2-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Haringey Borough last weekend.
Hawks: Young, Rose, Woodford, Harris, Williams, Stock, Lewis, Carter, Fogden, Tarbuck, Prior, Hayter, Rutherford, Tarbuck, Widdrington, Robinson.