Tough examination awaits Hawks in cup

Hawks goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski. Picture: Keith Woodland
Hawks goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski. Picture: Keith Woodland
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The Hawks face a tricky assignment against Sholing in their bid to retain the Hampshire Senior Cup at the Universal Stadium tonight (7:45pm).

The game provides Lee Bradbury’s side with a distraction from their fight for National League survival – where they currently find themselves in the relegation places.

And assistant manager Shaun Gale insists the Hawks will field a competitive line-up in the semi-final encounter.

'Obviously staying in the National League is our priority but we are keen to win every game we play in,' said Gale.

'It is good to have a break from the league pressures and this offers something different.

'We don't have a game on Saturday so this has arrived at a perfect time for us.

'Obviously we have to look at the situation carefully and see if there is any fall out from the game against Chesterfield.

'We will have to assess some of the players because we won't want to take any unnecessary risks.

'There will be a chance for some of the players who have not featured recently to come in.

'Sholing will present us with a tough examination.

'It was only a few years ago that they beat us in this competition.

'We are keen to get to another final and will approach the game in the right manner.'

Goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski could miss the game through injury, with Alan Walker-Harris in line for a rare outing.

Meanwhile, midfielder Ibra Sekajja is expected to feature and forwards Matt Paterson and Hassan Jalloh could get game time. It will also provide recent signing David Banjo more minutes.

He featured briefly late-on as a substitute at the weekend but since being released by Elgin City in September he has played little football.

Gale believes the game will help keep the Hawks squad ticking over ready for a return to league action.

'We have some huge games coming up,' said Gale.

'There are still seven games left for us to get out of trouble.

'Hopefully though we will get a better rub of the green from the officials.

'We didn't get that against Chesterfield.

'Everyone makes mistakes but you expect referees to get the big decisions right.

'On Saturday Dan Strugnell clearly got the ball when conceding a penalty.

'At the other end Matt Paterson was cleaned out by their goalkeeper every day of the week

'Those decisions cost us one if not three points.'