Struggling Hawks must right St Albans wrongs

Hawks striker Matt Paterson   Picture: Sarah Standing
Hawks striker Matt Paterson Picture: Sarah Standing
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Lee Bradbury is adamant the Hawks must look to restore pride on their National League South visit to Concord Rangers tomorrow (3pm).

He needs a huge reaction from his players after their embarrassing 6-0 loss at relegation rivals St Albans City dumped them into the bottom two.

The manner of that defeat was hugely disappointing leaving the Hawks two points adrift of safety with three games left to play.

A win at Concord will put the Hawks back in the driving seat in the relegation dogfight because they still have a game in hand on the teams above them.

Another defeat, however, could leave them needing to win their final two games to stay up.

With just one away win to their name all season the Hawks will need to show a drastic improvement to succeed.

It is another massive pressure game for the Hawks and unlike last weekend they now have to show they can handle it.

‘The players’ pride was massively dented last Saturday and that is all the motivation they should need,’ said Bradbury.

‘Too many had a bad day at the office at the same time.

‘They are a good set of players and are desperate to prove people wrong.

‘I am backing them to do just that.

‘Everyone at the football club feels the same and we have to go and put that right.

‘The game in hand we have is key and it is important we make the most of it.

‘Our away record this season is awful and there is no better time to go and do something about it.

‘It is about time our luck changed on the road.’

The Hawks’ task is made more difficult through the loss of key players due to injury and suspension notably their captain Brian Stock.

The highly-experienced midfielder is starting a two-match ban after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season.

He will be able to return for the final game of the season against Weston-super-Mare but his absence in the meantime is a big blow.

Nic Ciardini also picked up a groin injury that forced him off in the first half at St Albans.

He is likely to miss the rest of the season and his combative approach will be missed.

Bradbury, though, has every confidence in the players he can bring in and insists they can do the job required.

The manager has some tough decisions to make including whether to bring attacking duo Scott Donnelly and Matt Paterson back into the starting line-up.

His two leading goalscorers were left on the substitutes’ bench at St Albans and rested again in midweek for the cup game with Gosport.

He may also opt for the experience of Warren Cummings at full-back in an attempt to steady the ship.

‘We have got three massive games left to play and our performances have to reflect that,’ said Bradbury.

‘The players have to go out and prove a point to everyone not least themselves.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Hill, Robinson, Cummings, Lewis, Donnelly, Swallow, Paterson, Hayter, Barker, Mullings, Medway, Molyneaux, Haran, Mitchell