Doswell aiming to avoid Hawks v Hadley FA Cup banana skin

Paul Doswell is adamant Hawks can't take anything for granted against minnows Hadley in their third qualifying round FA Cup tie at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

Friday, 4th October 2019, 11:08 am
Craig Robson, left, has signed a two-year deal with Hawks

Hadley are a step five club playing in the Essex Senior League and have already won through four home ties to get to this stage.

They have already equalled their best-ever run in the competition.

On paper it looks a straightforward task for the Vanarama National League South hosts.

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But this is the FA Cup and the history of the competition is littered with upsets, shocks and giant-killings.

Doswell and the Hawks have enjoyed FA Cup success in the past.

At Sutton three seasons ago the manager took them to the fifth round in a run that included a win against Leeds United.

They were eventually knocked out by Arsenal.

The Hawks also had their own famous run to the fourth round where they were beaten by Liverpool at Anfield in January 2008.

Doswell has also experienced the other side of the coin with exits to lower league teams.

He doesn't want to experience that disappointment again.

There is a lot at stake with the winners progressing to within 90 minutes of reaching the first round proper.

That brings the possibility of a money-spinning tie against one of the glamour clubs such as Portsmouth, Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers.

For the present time, though, Doswell is concentrating on beating Hadley and reaching the fourth qualifying round.

'We will be giving Hadley the proper respect,' said Doswell.

'They have got at least four players who could easily play at a higher level.

'I know from experience what can happen in the FA Cup.

'When I was at Sutton we lost to Alton Town who were then in the Wessex League.

'There is something about this competition that can produce shocks.

'It is all about us being switched on to make sure it doesn't happen to us.'

Doswell admits he is having problems with a mounting injury list.

Roarie Deacon is likely to be out for at least three months with a serious quad muscle injury.

Wes Fogden is still three weeks away and Benny Read hasn't trained because of an ankle problem.

On top of that, goalkeeper Ross Worner and midfielder Nicky Bailey have also been unable to train.

'It has been like accident and emergency at our ground this week,' said Doswell, who has boosted his resources by signing midfielder/defender Craig Robson on a two-year deal.

It is Robson's second spell at the club, having left in 2008 after coming through the Academy.

Since then he has played in Australia and for Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge and Billericay Town.