Hawks date expands Pompey pre-season calendar
POMPEY have finalised the date of their traditional pre-season fixture with the Hawks.
Paul Cook’s men are to travel to Westleigh Park on Saturday, July 29 (3pm).
It will be a clash of the title winners following the Hawks’ triumph in the Ryman League premier division.
Intriguingly, it arrives less than 24 hours after the Blues are scheduled at Cardiff City for another friendly.
Regardless, the game against Lee Bradbury’s men represents the fifth summer fixture announced by Pompey as the pre-season calendar begins to take shape.
A prospective Fratton Park match on Saturday, July 22 remains unallocated at present.
In addition, a tour to Ireland in the early part of July has still to be finalised by the Blues.
As it stands, though, the summer will kick off with a trip to Salisbury on Saturday, July 1.
It represents a repeat of last summer’s fixture against Steve Claridge’s Southern League division one south and west outfit.
On that occasion it finished 2-2, with triallist Noel Hunt and Gary Roberts on the scoresheet having twice given the visitors the lead.
Next on the schedule is a trip to Eastleigh on Saturday, July 15 (3pm).
The last time the sides met was in July 2009, when David Nugent grabbed a hat-trick for Paul Hart’s side.
The Blues ran out 6-1 winners with Younes Kaboul, Paris Cowan-Hall and Danijel Subotic also among the scorers during that mid-week evening match.
Bognor, who have joined the Hawks in reaching the National League – albeit courtesy of the play-offs – will play hosts on Wednesday, July 19.
Cook’s side won 4-1 in last summer’s encounter through goals from Conor Chaplin, Curtis Main, Michael Smith and Adam May.
Following Jamie Howell’s exit for Eastbourne Borough at the season’s end, the Rocks will be under new management.
Then it is off to Championship side Cardiff on Friday, July 28 (7pm), for a break from the tradition in terms of Pompey pre-seasons.
The Blues tend not to venture too far from Fratton Park for friendlies when in this country, yet they are taking the trip to Neil Warnock’s Welshmen.
The next day Cook’s men face the Hawks in what is currently the final pre-season friendly.
Pompey won 5-0 at Westleigh Park last summer, with Carl Baker (two), Roberts, Hunt and Main netting in a one-sided contest.
The League One campaign kicks off on Saturday, August 5, making it unlikely any more first-team friendlies will take place after that Hawks encounter.
Should Ireland be confirmed as a pre-season destination, there is likely to be at least one match scheduled. Last summer, Cook’s men faced Sligo Rovers and Bohemians during their productive week-long stay at Johnstown House Hotel in Dublin.