Hawks aim to progress in quest for cup glory
THE HAWKS have a good chance to add cup progress to their positive start in the league as they go to Fleet Spurs in the Hampshire Senior Cup tonight (7.45pm).
Lee Bradbury’s side have also been handed a favourable draw in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup, even though they will be away.
They will meet the winners of the replay between FC Romania and Hayes & Yeading.
FC Romania play in the Essex Senior League, while Hayes & Yeading are in the same Southern League east division as Moneyfields.
Bradbury is happy to avoid some of the bigger clubs, including fellow National League South teams in the draw.
He said: ‘We will start as firm favourites against whoever gets through.
‘On paper it is a tie we should be winning but games are not won on paper.
‘We will have to make sure we go and do the job.’
Bradbury’s focus first, however, is winning tonight against Combined Counties division one hosts Fleet Spurs.
He insists it is an ideal opportunity to give some different players a chance to show what they can do.
‘This is the time to give some of the players who have not been getting in a chance to play,’ added the Hawks boss.
‘The game has also come at an ideal time for some of the players returning from injury to get some minutes under their belts.
‘This competition and the Portsmouth Senior Cup are ideal for this purpose.
‘We want to win every competition we go into and it is useful to stay in the cups for as long as we can.’
Defender Dan Strugnell is expected to make his first start of the season after recovering from his knee problems.
He has been back in training for the previous 10 days but this will be his first competitive game in eight weeks.
In recent seasons Strugnell has been the Hawks most consistent defender.
Though he is still likely to need a few more weeks before being fully match fit his return is a big boost.
Summer signing Matt Tubbs is also likely to get a rare start up front.
The striker missed the start of the season through injury and has struggled to force his way into the side.
Bradbury added: ‘Matt missed a major part of pre-season and with the team doing well has not been able to get in.
‘Everyone knows his ability and it has been a case of keeping him fit and ready to go.
‘Though he has been keen to get playing, he has continued to work hard and remained very supportive.’
Bradbury can call on Alfie Whittingham and Marley Ridge for the cup. Whittingham is on loan at AFC Totton and Ridge at Moneyfields. Keeper Alan Walker-Harris is also set to start.