Hawks’ FA Cup hero out to end their unbeaten away league record

The Hawks are eyeing second spot as they return to National League South action at Billericay Town (3pm).

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 2:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th November 2019, 2:51 pm
Alfie Potter (yellow) in FA Cup action for Hawks at Swansea City in January 2008

A win could see them leapfrog above Slough and further close the gap on leaders Wealdstone.

Paul Doswell's side are also keen to preserve their unbeaten record on the road this season.

The Hawks have won five and drawn two of their away games, but Jamie O’Hara’s Essex side are unbeaten at home in the league.

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The hosts will also be keen to make amends for their midweek FA Trophy exit against divisional rivals Hampton & Richmond Borough.

One player hoping he has done enough to retain his place is young striker Alfie Rutherford.

He has scored three goals in the last two games, making a strong case for his inclusion.

If leading goalscorer Jonah Ayunga is fit to return, the Hawks management may have a difficult decision to make.

With veteran Danny Kedwell playing the target man role, the visitors could even opt to start with all three up front.

Assistant manager Ian Baird believes Rutherford can continue to progress

'Alfie is still learning the game,' said Baird.

'He looks like a player, though, that has not been taught properly to play the position we want him to play.

'Apart from being a goalscorer, he has so much ability in other area.

'We are constantly telling him that he is a good player.

'If he can add the other areas to his game, then who knows where he may go.'

Though they dominated their FA Trophy tie against Cinderford Town for long periods last weekend, the Hawks lacked penetration.

Baird admitted it wasn't the most convincing performance of the season.

The manner in which Hawks conceded the equaliser was disappointing, as it resulted from a defensive mix-up, but two late Rutherford goals calmed nerves.

The Hawks will need to be a lot more precise if they are to beat Billericay and maintain their momentum.

Goalkeeper Ross Worner, defender Dean Beckwith and midfielder Nicky Bailey could be recalled to the starting line-up.

Hawks are likely to come up against one of their 2007/08 FA Cup heroes, Alfie Potter.

Potter appeared in the most famous game in the club’s history, the fourth round tie against Liverpool at Anfield. On loan from Peterborough at the time, he scored Hawks’ second goal, putting them 2-1 ahead, before the hosts hit back to win 5-2

Potter he went on to play at Oxford United, Northampton Town, Mansfield Town and AFC Wimbledon.