Hawks plan slick passing game to cut through Eastbourne
THE HAWKS will be hoping a slick performance can bring three points when they take on Eastbourne Borough tonight (7.45pm).
Boss Lee Bradbury saw his side begin the season with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Chippenham Town in National League South.
Now he is hoping they can achieve a home win at Westleigh Park.
He knows, however, they will need to beware a Borough backlash after the Sussex side lost on the opening day of the season.
Bradbury expects a lot more football to be played than in the first match.
The long grass left on the Hardenhuish Park pitch made it difficult, if not almost impossible, for the Hawks to play their passing football.
They will be glad to get back on the excellent playing surface of their own pitch.
‘We like to get the ball down and play,’ said Bradbury.
‘The four to five inch long grass at Chippenham didn’t help us.
‘We had to adapt to the conditions and I felt we did that very well.
‘The players showed they can be streetwise when they need to be.
‘It will be good for us to get back on our decent pitch so that we can get the ball down and play.
‘That is our strength.’
Bradbury still has a number of fitness problems to contend with.
Dan Strugnell and Bradley Tarbuck are still ruled out by injury.
Jordan Rose, Brian Stock and Matt Tubbs have all had limited game and training time during pre-season.
If defender Ryan Woodford has recovered from illness, which forced him to miss the opener, he may come back into the starting line-up.
His late replacement Lee Molyneaux had a superb game but finished with a broken nose.
Wes Fogden is likely to continue playing in a wide role.
Portsmouth loanee Theo Widdrington made a pleasing debut and should continue in the central midfield.
At Chippenham the Hawks had limited opportunities to display their attacking talents.
Front pair Jason Prior and Alfie Rutherford spent much of the afternoon forlornly chasing long balls hit from the back.
Bradbury will be looking for the midfield and wide players to be far more creative at home.
Rory Williams and Fogden will look to get behind the Borough defence and provide the ammunition.
The visitors are managed by Jamie Howell who the Hawks know well.
Howell made the surprise move to Borough at the end of last season.
Hawks: Young, Robinson, Harris, Woodford, Williams, Lewis, Widdrington, Carter, Fogden, Prior, Rutherford, Barker, Tubbs, Stock, Rose, Hayter
Bognor travel along the south coast to Poole Town looking to build on their winning start (7.45pm).
Gosport Borough play their final pre-season friendly with Salisbury the visitors to Privett Park (7.45pm).