Hawks out to stretch unbeaten run

Hawks striker Jason Prior
Hawks striker Jason Prior
Rory Williams was on the mark for Hawks on a night to savour. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Demolition job puts title in Hawks’ grasp

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The Hawks aim to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games when they travel to AFC Sudbury in the Ryman League premier division tonight (7.45pm).

Lee Bradbury is confident the Westleigh Park side can add to their already impressive away record which has seen them lose just twice on the road this season.

He also believes his players will be able to adapt to playing on the home side’s 3G playing surface.

‘We train on 3G every week so it is not something that is totally different for us,’ said Bradbury.

‘It gives us an opportunity to get the ball down and play.

‘In this cold weather the ball is quite quick on the artificial pitch and that should help us.

‘As far as our performances away from home have been, we want more of the same.

‘Our away form has been great and we want to keep things ticking over.

‘It is a long journey but we showed at Lowestoft last week that we can cope with it.

‘We went there and took charge from the start and dominated the game to come away with a 2-0 win.

‘I am looking for us to try to do the same again.

‘We want to win every game.

‘That was my mentality as a player and it hasn’t changed now I am a manager.

‘It is important to keep our unbeaten run going and keep picking up points.’

It is also an opportunity for Bradbury’s third-placed team to progress at the expense of the two teams above them.

Leaders Bognor are in action against second-placed Needham Market at Nyewood Lane.

With the latter next to arrive at Westleigh Park on Saturday, it is a pivotal week in the title race.

Bradbury is boosted by the fact he has an almost full-strength squad to choose from.

The only absentee is full-back Dan Strugnell who is still ruled out by injury.

That means either Bradley Tarbuck, who has come in at wing-back, will continue or the Hawks boss might decide to recall wingers Ben Swallow and George Barker.

Up front, Jason Prior returned as a second-half substitute against Burgess Hill after injury.

He gave the Hawks a greater physical presence and is likely to retain his place.

There are unlikely to be any changes at the back, with the Hawks keeping clean sheets in their past two games.

The visitors also boast the best defensive record in the league.

‘Our back three have been great,’ added Bradbury.

‘Ed Harris is back to his best, Lee Molyneaux is a commanding figure and Ryan Woodford is as consistent as ever.

‘It is a great foundation for us to go and win games.

‘If we keep the back door shut then I will always fancy us to score goals.

Hawks: Young, Woodford, Harris, Molyneaux, Williams, Tarbuck, Stock, Lewis, Fogden, Rutherford, Prior, Swallow, Barker, Paterson, Hayter, Block

Also tonight, Moneyfields play Liss in the Russell-Cotes Cup, while Gosport Borough entertain AFC Bournemouth in the Hampshire Senior Cup.