Bradbury confident Hawks can end the hurt

Lee Bradbury, right. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143301-3)
Lee Bradbury, right. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143301-3)
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Lee Bradbury is confident the Hawks have the fire-power to end their derby hurt.

The Westleigh Park outfit host Gosport Borough on Boxing Day – having failed to beat their south-coast rivals in the past four encounters.

Most painful was last term’s two-legged defeat in the FA Trophy semi-final.

Now the pair renew their rivalry – and again on New Year’s Day at Privett Park – with crucial points up for grabs in the Vanarama Conference South promotion race.

Hawks boss Bradbury said: ‘They are always good games between the two sides and this has the makings of another cracking derby.

‘Give Borough credit, they have done fantastically well so far this season.

‘Both teams are up there pushing for the play-offs and the games between us will have a big bearing on that.

‘Both of us will be going into it looking to come out unbeaten after the two games.

‘They are a difficult team to play against but I believe I have more than enough in my squad to cause them problems.’

Borough boast the tightest defence in the division – having shipped just 10 goals in 17 games.

The arrival of striker Ben Wright from Eastleigh has provided a big lift.

However, there are question marks over the rest of the strike force.

Bradley Bubb was disappointing in the draw with Hemel Hempstead on Saturday, JJ Hooper is working his way back to full fitness and Alan Connell has yet to score for the club.

Winger Ben Swallow is pushing for a recall.

He was a surprise omission from the Hemel clash but his pace and trickery could hold the key to unlocking the Borough defence.

‘Gosport have only lost once away from home, so they will be a tough nut to crack,’ said Bradbury.

‘We will have to roll our sleeves up and be prepared to work hard against them.

‘These are important games and if we can get four points, I will be happy.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Dutton, Harris, Blanchett, Stock, Donnelly, Ryan, Ciardini, Swallow, Wright, Bubb, Huggins, Hooper, Mullings, Cummings, Connell, Woodford