Hawks out to beat Beast and soar to top

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury
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LEE BRADBURY wants the Hawks to beat the weather for a second time this week and secure another vital National League South win.

East Thurrock United are the visitors to Westleigh Park in an important game for both teams (3pm).

A win could take the Hawks to the top of the league and the visitors are still in the hunt for the play-offs.

Bradbury regards them as dangerous opponents.

Investing in pitch covers a couple of seasons ago has paid dividends for the Hawks. On Tuesday night, the game against Gloucester City went ahead when all the other games in the league were called off.

The Hawks took full advantage by securing a 2-1 win which took them back into second place.

They are two points behind leaders Dartford with two games in hand.

Bradbury is convinced getting games played at this stage of the season can work to his side’s advantage, as they aim to beat the cold spell nicknamed the Beast from the East.

‘We will be doing our utmost to get this game on,’ said Bradbury.

‘With the weather and temperatures forecast it might be a little more difficult than Tuesday.

‘Looking at the weather it is likely that a lot of the games in and around London might get called off.

‘So if that happens and we can play then we can take advantage of the situation.

‘All the hard work we put in on Tuesday paid off.

‘The pitch played well and there were only one or two areas at the bottom end that were hard.

‘The rest of the pitch was fine. It was no different to playing on pitches during the summer.

‘The referee used common sense to get the game played.

‘No team wants to be playing three or four times a week towards the end of the season.’

The Hawks had to display dogged determination to overcome a stubborn Gloucester City who played all but twelve minutes of the game with ten men.

Gloucester even had the impertinence to take the lead at the start of the second half with an outrageous 70-yard goal.

In the past that might have been the signal for the Hawks to drop their heads and let the game drift away from them.

The current squad however seem to have a little more about them.

They stepped up another gear and goals from Jason Prior and Theo Lewis gave them the vital win.

‘Everyone seemed to find that little bit more after falling behind,’ said Bradbury.

‘There was a good urgency and a dogged determination not to lose.

‘Goalkeeper Ryan Young was at fault with their goal but the save he pulled off after that more than made up for it.

‘It prevented Gloucester grabbing a two-goal lead and was very much turning point.’

Bradbury has the luxury of a full-strength squad to choose from.

Hawks : Young, Rose, Woodford, Harris, Williams, Stock, Fogden, Lewis, Tarbuck, Prior, Tubbs, Strugnell, Robinson, Rutherford, Hayter, Carter, Huggins, Molyneaux.