Hawks out to avoid any Staines on home record

Lee Bradbury has warned the Hawks to expect their toughest test so far as they return to Ryman League premier division action against Staines Town at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 23rd September 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:04 pm
Hawks winger Ben Swallow    Picture: Mick Young
Hawks winger Ben Swallow Picture: Mick Young

The visitors, ninth in the table, are tipped as one of the favourites to challenge for the title and are in good form.

They showed their quality by beating Conference South leaders Maidenhead United away from home in the FA Cup.

Third-placed Hawks, however, boast a 100-per-cent record at home and could top the table with a victory.

Bradbury predicts his team will need to be at their best.

‘Staines will be dangerous opponents because they work hard and possess a lot of pace in their side,’ said Bradbury.

‘They also have Jefferson Louis up front who can prove a real handful.

‘There is no doubt that they will give us our stiffest examination yet.

‘But we have been in a great mindset especially at home so far this season.

‘We have worked hard and shown a good bit of quality to win all our home games.

‘The lads have performed well and there is a good degree of confidence flowing through the team.

‘I am confident the players will keep making demands of each other and churn the performances out.’

The pace and artistry of winger Ben Swallow has been a major contributory factor in the Hawks’ success.

Bradbury will be looking for his ‘Welsh wizard’ to continue his good form and give Staines problems.

The only thing missing from Swallow’s game has been a goal and Bradbury thinks it will be a great time to break his duck.

He said: ‘Ben has been terrific and a real menace to opposition defenders.

‘He can take them on, inside and out and already has seven assists to his name.

‘The only thing missing from his game is goals though he has gone close on numerous occasions.’

Apart from striker Jason Prior, who remains very doubtful, the home side boast a clean bill of health

Wes Fogden and Brian Stock are back in contention after coming through the midweek test at Hartley Wintney unscathed.

That was more than could be said for the Hawks, who suffered a shock 2-1 loss in the Hampshire Senior Cup.

Bradbury doesn’t believe that will have any bearing on the league game.

He made 10 changes for the cup and used it as an opportunity to get minutes into players who have not been playing.

He was still disappointed by the result.

‘The team out there should have been more than good enough to win the game,’ added Bradbury.

‘In my eyes we are now out of a competition that was useful to us.

‘Staines is a totally different proposition and we should be up for it.’

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