Hawks boss eager to add to proud Cup tradition
The Hawks start out on the Wembley FA Cup trail with a home tie against Southern League premier division visitors Merthyr Town at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).
This season is the 10th anniversary of the club’s historic run that ended in the fourth round against Liverpool at Anfield.
Current assistant manager Shaun Gale was in charge at that time and it was an occasion that still holds a special place in Hawks history.
Bradbury would love to add to the club’s FA Cup pedigree with another good run.
However, he has warned Welsh visitors Merthyr Town will be no push-overs.
‘The club has always prided itself on good Cup runs,’ said Bradbury.
‘It is still very proud of what was achieved 10 years ago and it holds a special place in Hawks hearts.
‘It would be great to rekindle some of that love the club has for the competition.
‘A good Cup run helps breed extra confidence and can also provide a good financial bonus.
‘Merthyr, though, will be coming to try to cause an upset.
‘They are traditionally a big club and have some good players.
‘We certainly won’t be taking them lightly.
‘The last thing we want is for them to take us back to their place to play on their plastic pitch in a midweek replay.
‘We will be going all out to win the game at the first time of asking.’
Bradbury is boosted by the return of powerful defender Jordan Rose from his month-long loan at Weymouth.
Rose spent the time away in a bid to get match-fit and the move appears to have worked.
He has scored four goals in seven games for the Dorset side and will give the Hawks an added threat at set-pieces. Rose’s return is a timely one – with fellow defenders Lee Molyneaux and Andy Robinson ruled out by injury.
Loanee midfielder Theo Widdrington is also missing as his parent club, Pompey, don’t want him Cup-tied.
Striker Jason Prior is expected to continue up front.
He played at St Albans with a bandaged head to protect the nine stitches he had just above his eye.
Bradbury is hoping the Cup can provide a quick tonic after their defeat in that midweek fixture.
He will want them to make sure that there is no similar last-minute heartache in the Cup.
‘Twice in the past week we have let games get away from us,’ added Bradbury.
‘We must keep doing the right things but just have to be a little more clinical in both boxes.
‘All the time we don’t take our chances it allows teams like St Albans to do what they did to us.’
Hawks: Young, Tarbuck, Harris, Woodford, Rose, Williams, Stock, Fogden, Carter, Lewis, Prior, Barker, Rutherford, Hayter, Tubbs