Hawks boss calls for focus in Moneys warm-up

Lee Bradbury is eyeing a complete performance from the Hawks in their final pre-season game against Moneyfields at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

Friday, 28th July 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:05 pm
Bradley Tarbuck, right, in action against Pompey during pre-season. Picture: Joe Pepler

He insists his injury-ravaged squad need to treat the game as a rehearsal for the National League South opener at Chippenham the following week.

The Hawks beat Horndean 4-3 on Tuesday – but fell away in the latter stages at Five Heads Park after making a good start.

Bradbury does not want to see that repeated against tomorrow’s newly-promoted Southern League visitors.

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‘I am looking for our performance to reflect how we are going to approach our opening league game,’ said the boss.

‘We need to play for the whole 90 minutes.

‘At Horndean we were punished for late lapses of concentration and we need to cut that out.

‘Two of their goals came from our sloppy defending.

‘We gave the ball away for the first and stood off their player for their second.

‘Defensively we need to be a lot better.

‘This is our final friendly so I expect the players to treat it as a rehearsal for the real thing.’

The continued absence of key defenders is hampering Bradbury’s plans – with Jordan Rose, Dan Strugnell and Bradley Tarbuck all ruled out.

It will be a race against time to try to get them fit for the start of the season and pitching them straight in would be far from ideal.

Combative midfielder Mike Carter returned against Horndean, though, completing 45 minutes.

His presence is a major bonus, while Theo Widdrington has also done well in that area as the Hawks seek to tie up a loan deal for the Pompey midfielder.

‘Moneyfields will give us a big physical test and their side contains a number of experienced players,’ added Bradbury.

‘It will be a good test and a chance for us to put a few things right.’

Moneyfields coach Mick Catlin says it will be an equally stiff examination for his side as they prepare for life at the higher level.

The former Gosport Borough assistant manager said: ‘This is our toughest pre-season game and will test us to the full.

‘So far we have had some really positive results against good Wessex League sides.

‘We have been good going forward, creating plenty of chances and scoring lots of goals.

‘This will be a step up in class, however, and it will be good to see how we manage defensively.

‘It will be nice to go out and play on a decent surface and I am expecting a competitive game.

‘I am sure the Hawks will want to have the confidence of a win behind them before their first league game.’