Hawks can't afford repeat of Sholing shock
Lee Bradbury has warned the Hawks against any complacency as they go to Sholing Sports in the FA Cup first qualifying round tomorrow (3pm).
Bradbury won’t be taking Sholing lightly and can call on previous experience to show his players exactly why they must not ease up.
It was only two seasons ago the Wessex League premier division side dumped the Hawks out of the Hampshire Senior Cup.
It is a potential banana skin for the Westleigh Park side in their earliest ever entry into the competition.
They certainly won’t be letting their guard down with the Cup an important income opportunity.
For Bradbury a good run in the FA Cup can have positive spin-offs for their Ryman League premier division campaign.
‘The club has had some special FA Cup days in the past and we would love to add to them,’ said Bradbury.
‘It can also be very important financially.
‘That was seen two seasons ago when we hosted Preston North End in the first round proper.
‘We got a decent crowd in and also had the windfall of the television money.
‘It would be nice to do something like that again and we are aiming to get as far as we can.
‘The magic of the FA Cup is special because you never know what is going to pop up.
‘Sholing will be tough, though, and we go there with few illusions that it will be otherwise.
‘They are a team that has been together for a while.
‘With three brothers in the team it couldn’t be any more close-knit.
‘When they turned us over in the local cup the players were not prepared for what they got.
‘We will be making sure that isn’t the case this time.
‘Underdogs tend to raise their game in the FA Cup and we have to be ready for that.’
The Hawks go into the tie in a confident mood having won their past four league games.
Central-defender Ed Harris is back in contention after being rested at Wingate & Finchley on bank holiday Monday.
Harris has returned after a year out with a knee injury that required surgery.
He did well in the two games he’s played but Bradbury is wary of rushing him back too quickly.
Midfielder Wes Fogden was in a similar situation when he aggravated his hamstring problem at Met Police.
Lee Molyneaux came in for Harris in the last game and produced a man-of-the-match performance so Bradbury has plenty of options.
Fogden and Brian Stock, recovering from concussion, are unlikely to feature.
‘There are always plenty of upsets in the FA Cup,’ said Bradbury.
‘We have to make sure we are not one of them.
‘Sholing will try and make it hard for us and we have to deal with it.’
Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Molyneaux, Harris, Williams, Lewis, Tarbuck, Swallow, Robinson, Paterson, Prior, Barker, Rutherford, Hayter, Ridge, Medway