Bradbury: Hawks must avoid FA Cup banana skin 

Alfie Pavey will be hoping to rediscover his goal touch against Met Police. Picture: Keith Woodland
Alfie Pavey will be hoping to rediscover his goal touch against Met Police. Picture: Keith Woodland

Lee Bradbury has warned the Hawks not to underestimate Metropolitan Police as his side bid to reach the first round of the FA Cup. 

The Westleigh Park outfit travel to Imber Court in the fourth qualifying round on Saturday.

It is the first time the Hawks have started their FA Cup campaign at this stage of the competition. 

The National League side are favourites to win the tie against Met Police – who play two levels below in the Southern League premier division south.

Bradbury wants to see his troops avoid a banana skin and make the most of their opportunity.

It is a big game for both clubs with so much at stake.

Not only £25,000 prize money goes to the winner, but there’s the chance of pulling a plum tie against a Football League side in the first round. 

Bradbury recognises there is much to play for.

The Hawks boss said: ‘This is a decent draw but we can't afford to take Met Police lightly.

‘The FA Cup has a nasty habit of throwing up a few surprises.

‘We have to make sure that come 5pm on Saturday we are not one of them.

‘Not only is there big money on offer but in the next round huge clubs like Portsmouth, Sunderland and Charlton Athletic are in the hat.

‘We are under no illusions, though, that this will be anything other than a tough game.

‘Our opponents are always an enthusiastic, hard-working side and being at home they will fancy causing an upset.

‘They will be up for it and we have to be prepared for that.'

The visitors will be hoping their strikers can use the occasion to re-find their goal touch.

Nicke Kabamba and Alfie Pavey have struggled to net of late and the Hawks haven’t scored in their past three games. 

Both were guilty of missing the target with good chances in the 1-0 defeat to Gateshead last weekend. 

Pavey was top scorer in the National League South last season but has struggled in the final third this season. 

Bradbury is hoping the ex-Dartford marksman’s recent success with the England C team will boost his confidence.

Pavey bagged the only goal of the game from the penalty spot on his debut in their win against Estonia under-23s. 

'I am sure all he needs is a goal,' added Bradbury.

‘He will admit he has found it tough since stepping up.

‘You don't get many chances in the National League and he is learning you have to be clinical when they come along.

‘Once he gets a goal for us I am sure he will start firing on all cylinders.'

AFC Bournemouth loanee Tyler Cordner is not available to face Met Police as his parent club do not want him cup-tied.

However, Will Wood and Alex Bradley – on loan from Accrington and West Brom respectively – are allowed to feature.

Mike Carter, Wes Fogden and Rory Williams remain injured.