Hawks aim to arrest away woes at Met Police
Lee Bradbury's quest to find a winning formula on the road continues with the Hawks' visit to face Met Police at Imber Court tonight (7.45pm).
The Westleigh Park outfit only won two games away from home last term and it was a major factor in their relegation from National League South.
The trend continued in the Hawks’ opening game of their Ryman League premier division campaign when they were well beaten 3-1 at Leiston.
Bradbury knows that must change if his side are to launch a bid to make a return to National League South.
Met Police are bottom of the table and lost their opening home game of the season 6-1 to Staines Town.
‘Our away record has not been the greatest and that is something we must change,’ said boss Bradbury.
‘Any team that wants to be successful must have a better record than ours at the present time.
‘Last season it was a combination of lack of confidence and poor decision making by players and officials that went against us.
‘Once losing became the norm it became harder and harder to change it.
‘We have to travel to away games not thinking we are going to lose.
‘The players we have at the moment are confident and competent enough to achieve that.
‘We have to make sure we rid ourselves of the old mentality.’
Bradbury is forced to make one change after Brian Stock was stretchered off in the closing minutes against Folkestone Invicta on Saturday.
The midfielder was knocked unconscious in an aerial challenge and received treatment on the pitch.
He is likely to be ruled out for a couple of weeks with concussion.
‘We are fortunate to have very good medical staff at the club who took great care of him,’ said Bradbury.
‘The players’ safety is paramount and as a club we will not put him at risk. You have to be very careful with head injuries.’
Midfield prospect Liam Kimber has been recalled from his loan at Winchester City as cover for Stock.
Another option available is to move Andy Robinson forward from the back four and give a first start in more than 12 months to Ed Harris.
Harris returned from a long injury lay-off to take his place among the substitutes against Folkestone.
Bradbury, however, may be loath to move Robinson who produced a man-of-the-match performance in the heart of the defence.
The visitors are aware Met Police will be hungry to pick up their first win of the campaign.
But Bradbury insists his players approach the game correctly.
‘The fact they haven’t won yet will make them dangerous,’ he added.
‘We won’t be complacent and I am looking for another solid performance and a clean sheet.’
HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Robinson, Williams, Lewis, Kimber, Swallow, Fogden, Prior, Rutherford, Harris, Tarbuck, Molyneaux, Paterson, Hayter, Medway, Barker