Hawks in flying form ahead of ‘big test’

Hawks striker Matt Paterson   Picture: Mick Young
Hawks striker Matt Paterson Picture: Mick Young
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The Hawks are gunning for a fourth straight win as they welcome Lowestoft Town to Westleigh Park in the Ryman League premier division tomorrow (3pm).

After losing their opening game at Leiston, Lee Bradbury’s side have bounced back with three good wins.

Two of those victories, over Leatherhead and Folkestone, were achieved through solid performances at home.

The win at Met Police in midweek was less convincing but the Hawks still returned down the A3 with the three points under their belt.

The Trawlerboys have won both their away games so far this season and will present the hosts with a stern test.

Bradbury is looking for his team to improve on their midweek showing.

‘We were nowhere near where we needed to be in the first half against Met Police,’ said Bradbury.

‘We lacked energy and didn’t pass the ball well.

‘In the second half we were a bit braver and showed greater responsibility.

‘Lowestoft are one of the teams we expect to be up there at the end of the season so this will be a big test.

‘With their away record and our home record something will have to give.’

One big positive from midweek was the return of experienced central-defender Ed Harris after a 12-month absence.

Harris missed the whole of last season with a knee injury and came through his first 90 minutes without any adverse effects.

Having Harris back meant that Bradbury was able to move Andy Robinson into midfield to cover the absence of Brian Stock.

Stock is still ruled out after suffering concussion in the win over Folkestone.

Bradbury is faced with having to make another change in midfield after Wes Fogden limped out at Met Police.

George Barker is expected to be available again after a hamstring injury but Bradley Tarbuck also did well when he replaced Fogden.

Striker Matt Paterson is also pushing for a start after scoring the winner against Met Police as a substitute.

Bradbury said: ‘I have plenty of options up front with four good strikers and it is a nice problem to have.

‘They are all good lads and want to play.

‘Matt did well when he came in and showed a lot of energy.

‘He showed with the way he took his goal that he was sharp and is knocking on the door for a start.’

The three wins have taken the Hawks up to fourth in the table and Bradbury wants his side to maintain their momentum.

‘These are a big three points on offer and we want to make Westleigh Park a bit of a fortress,’ added Bradbury.

‘We also have another tricky test at Wingate & Finchley on Monday.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Harris, Williams, Robinson, Lewis, Tarbuck, Barker, Swallow, Paterson, Rutherford, Prior, Hayter, Molyneaux, Ridge