Hawks boss ready to ring changes

Hawks striker Alfie Rutherford                    Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Hawks striker Alfie Rutherford Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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Lee Bradbury reckons a fresh approach might be needed for the Hawks’ FA Trophy first-qualifying round tie at Cirencester Town tomorrow (3pm).

After failing to win their last two league games, the time looks right to ring the changes.

A number of players are carrying knocks but Bradbury has plenty of other options available within his squad.

Up front, strikers Jason Prior and Matt Paterson, have struggled in recent games, so there is every chance Alfie Rutherford could return to action.

Rutherford joined the Hawks during the summer from Bognor, where he and Prior scored more than 60 goals between them.

So far this season, the 18-year-old has netted three times in four league starts.

Bradbury is predicting a bright future for the youngster.

He said: ‘People forget how young Alfie is.

‘He just wants to score goals and is a great prospect.

‘As a striker, he is not scared of missing chances and has great self belief.

‘We have to make sure that we don’t rush him and keep him hungry champing at the bit.

‘He has loads of pace, works hard and ticks a lot of boxes.

‘With our other strikers doing well until recently he has had to bide his time.

‘His attitude has been first-rate and he has shown great patience.’

Fellow striker James Hayter may also be recalled and also has a knack of scoring goals when he starts.

Players carrying knocks include Theo Lewis, Ed Harris, Wes Fogden and Rory Williams.

That means Harry Medway, Lee Molyneaux and Andreas Robinson could all find themselves back in the starting line-up.

Bradbury has insisted since the start of the season his priority is to win promotion back to National League South.

At the same time, though, his competitive nature wants to see the Hawks progress in the FA Trophy.

It was only two years ago they reached the competition’s semi-finals.

‘Cirencester will be dangerous opponents and it is a game that we will be taking very seriously,’ said Bradbury.

‘At the same time my options are limited because of injuries.

‘Our opponents have just got a new manager in and they had a good win in midweek.

‘Their players will be wanting to impress their new man who will also be wanting to make an immediate impact.

‘It isn’t a game that we can afford to take lightly.

‘For us it is about the depth of our squad and the fact that they will all have a part to play throughout the long season.

‘I feel I can bring different players in without weakening the team.

‘All members of our squad are capable of starting week in, week out.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Molyneaux, Medway, Stock, Robinson, Barker, Swallow, Rutherford, Hayter, Prior, Paterson, Williams, Lewis, Fogden, Williams