Bradbury keen to lead Hawks out at Wembley Hawks out at W

Lee Bradbury is hoping it will be third time lucky for the Hawks when they host Dover Athletic in their FA Trophy first-round replay tomorrow night (7.45pm).

Monday, 7th January 2019, 10:44 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:36 pm
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Twice this season the Westleigh Park side have got themselves into great positions against the Whites '“ both at the Crabble '“ but failed to win.

In the league encounter the Hawks lost 4-3 after throwing away a two-goal lead.

Dover then recently grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser in the first Trophy meeting to force the replay.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

With both teams fighting to avoid National League relegation, it is probably an extra game they could do without.

The winners of the tie will host Harrogate Town in the next round on Saturday.

Dover pulled off a shock league win at Wrexham on Saturday, while the Hawks got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Barrow. 

Bradbury admitted his priority is trying to make sure the Hawks stay in the National League.

At the same time he feels winning is a good habit and success in the Trophy can have a positive effect.

'We want to go as far as we can in the competition,' said Bradbury.

'There is the carrot of the final being played at Wembley which is a great incentive for the players.

'That opportunity doesn't come around very often for players at our level.'

Though Bradbury may not want to take any risks with some of his senior players his options are limited.

Brian Stock retired from playing at the weekend and experienced defenders Paul Robinson and Ed Harris are struggling with injury.

Loan players Will Wood, Jonah Ayunga and Alex Bradley have returned to their parent clubs.

Striker Aaron Cosgrave has joined Chelmsford City and Josh Huggins has gone on loan to Kingstonian.

New striker Hassan Jalloh is ineligible.

The manager will also have to decide whether to risk playing Wes Fogden, who is returning from long-term injury.

So far the attacking midfielder has been limited to three second-half substitute appearances.

Fogden is seen as a key player in the Hawks' league ambitions and to lose him again for any period of time would be a big blow.

'Our options for making changes are very limited because we only have a small squad,' added Bradbury.

'This can work in our favour and our goal is to win the game.

'We will be doing our utmost to do that.'