Hawks must strike crucial title blow

LEE BRADBURY is calling for another big game from the Hawks as they host Bognor in a Ryman League premier division top-of-the-table clash at Westleigh Park this afternoon (3pm).

Monday, 17th April 2017, 6:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:41 pm
Wes Fogden is one of the key men in midfield for the Hawks

He knows it is a game his side cannot afford to lose and essentially need to win.

The Rocks hold a one-point lead at the top.

And a win for the Sussex side will see them lift the title and consign the Hawks to the play-offs.

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If the Hawks win it means they will go into their final game of the season with a two-point advantage and back in the driving seat.

A draw would see the status quo maintained.

And it would leave both teams facing a tense final day of the season.

The fact the Hawks and the Rocks are arguably the two best footballing sides in the league only serves to make it an even greater prospect.

A bumper Easter Monday crowd is expected and fans are urged to arrive at the ground early.

Both teams are in excellent form, though the home side have the advantage of an extra day of rest having played on Good Friday.

With so much at stake it promises to be a test of nerve for both teams as they aim to secure promotion.

‘It is a massive game for both teams,’ said Hawks boss Bradbury.

‘For us it is another game that we must look to go out and win.

‘We know that if we lose Bognor will have the title.

‘It has been cat and mouse between the two of us for a while now and this is a chance for one team to put some distance between the other.

‘I am expecting another big game from my team because we are in good form at the moment.

‘In recent games we have shown a lot of character and determination often coming from behind to win.

‘We know we are up against a good Bognor side so it isn’t going to be easy.’

The Hawks stole a march on the Rocks with their 2-1 Good Friday win at Canvey Island.

Midfielder Theo Lewis scored twice to take the Hawks to the top.

But 24 hours later the Rocks went back to the summit with a 3-0 home win over Harlow Town.

Both teams like to get the ball down and play football.

Bradbury recognises the need for his side to boss the midfield area.

‘The midfield will have a very influential part to play I feel,’ said Bradbury.

‘Our trio of Brian Stock, Wes Fogden and Theo Lewis are in great shape.

‘If we keep a clean sheet we will win the game because we have goals in our side.’

Striker Jason Prior is struggling to be fit but defender Jordan Rose passed a fitness test.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Harris,Molyneaux, Williams, Stock, Fogden, Lewis, Rutherford, Hayter, Rose, Tarbuck, Barker, Swallow, Robinson, Prior