Havant & Waterlooville relishing taking pre-season to Bognor ahead of Portsmouth friendly

Paul Doswell is relishing taking his Hawks to Bognor tonight (7.45pm).

Monday, 8th July 2019, 4:24 pm
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 9:55 pm
Hawks striker Danny Kedwell, right, picked up an injury on Saturday and will miss the Bognor friendly. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Westleigh Park boss believes the Bostik League premier division outfit will provide the perfect preparation for Saturday’s home friendly against League One Pompey.

A mixture of a good pitch at Nyewood Lane and opponents who like the pass the ball are seen as ideal.

The Hawks kicked off their pre-season programme with a 2-0 victory at Wessex League Alresford Town on Saturday.

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Jonah Ayunga scored both goals but fellow strikers Alfie Rutherford and Danny Kedwell picked up injuries and are ruled out of the Rocks trip.

Doswell said: ‘With a small squad we cannot afford to pick up too many injuries.

‘It was a tough game against Alresford on a hard pitch and a lot of the lads were sore when they trained yesterday.

‘The idea at Bognor will be to try to get another 60 minutes under most players’ belts.

‘While most of our squad are new, they already know each other.

‘Having five players from Sutton, three from Ebbsfleet and another five who were here last season helped.

‘They are all buying into it and working well together.

‘We are looking forward to playing on Bognor’s superb pitch against a team that likes to pass the ball.

‘It will be the perfect preparation for our showpiece friendly against Portsmouth.’

The Hawks have extended their early-bird season ticket deal until the opening National League South fixture.

‘We have sold 650 already,’ added Doswell.

‘When we started we were aiming for 1000 which none of us thought we would get anywhere near.

‘Now we are getting closer and closer to achieving it which is fantastic after the club was relegated.’

AFC Portchester begin their pre-season programme at Paulsgrove (7.15pm).

The Memorial Cup, a tribute to club stalwarts Kev Latham and Mick Green who died recently, is up for grabs.

Portchester’s new faces include James Thomson, Nathan Paxton, Owen Fee and Brady Norton.

Dan Wooden and Rob Evans have returned to the club, while Joe Noakes is fit after a long-term knee injury.

New signings Louie Martin, Jamie Wilkinson and Bobby Scott are expected to be involved as Horndean host United Services at Five Heads Park (7.45pm).