Bradbury eyes Hawks dunking for Bath

Ryan Woodford is suspended for the trip to Bath City due to a one-match ban Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Woodford is suspended for the trip to Bath City due to a one-match ban Picture: Joe Pepler
Fareham will be up for taking on Horndean. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

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Lee Bradbury is backing his Hawks to pull the plug on Bath City’s mini Skrill South revival in their clash at Twerton Park tomorrow (3pm).

The Westleigh Park boss watched the Romans return to winning ways with an impressive 4-2 win at Farnborough in midweek– after six games without a win in the league.

But Bradbury believes he can plot another successful result on the road this season.

The Hawks have been at their most resilient on their travels so far this campaign, losing just once – at Bishop’s Stortford.

Apart from that, they have one win and four draws under their belt.

Bradbury has set his side up so they are difficult to beat.

At the same time, though, they possess the fire-power to snatch wins that should see them move up the league table.

‘We are unbeaten in our last four league games and want to keep that going,’ said Bradbury.

‘Our aim is to go to Bath, keep the back door shut and chalk up another clean sheet.

‘If we can do that, we know we are capable of scoring goals – even if we haven’t scored as many as I would have liked.

‘After what I witnessed in midweek, Bath will be confident, with three lively players up top.

‘They look like they can score goals, too, so it should prove a good end-to-end game.’

Bradbury is forced to reshuffle his defence because of Ryan Woodford’s one-match ban following his sending off at Dover.

Fortunately, Pedro Monteiro and Ed Harris are due to make a welcome return.

Monteiro has been unavailable for two weeks due to family reasons, while Harris is back training following his ankle ligament problems.

Both players are capable of doing a more than efficient job, leaving Bradbury with a difficult decision.

‘Pedro was a rock for us at the back, before missing the last couple of games, and his experience and communication is first class,’ said Bradbury.

‘Ed is a really big player for us and is always a tower of strength for us in the defensive line.’

Up front, the manager is likely to stick with the tried-and-tested Dennis Oli as targetman, with Scott Jones and Nic Ciardini providing the support.

Wing-wizard Christian Nanetti returned to Italy for personal reasons during the week and is unlikely to figure.

Full-back Dan Blanchett (thigh) is another doubt and will face a late fitness test.

‘It is an important period between now and Christmas,’ said Bradbury.

‘We must be looking to establish ourselves as we play eight of the bottom 12 clubs.

‘At the beginning of the new year I would want us to be in a position to push for the play-off places.

‘That is where everyone at our club wants to be and it will be an achievement if we can do that.’

Hawks: Bevan, Newton, Strugnell, Harris, Monteiro, Blanchett, Kewley-Graham, Ryan, Ciardini, Oli, Jones, Kabba, Hutchinson, Atangana, Ramsey, Przespolewski, Searle

n Any Hawks fans who are unable to make the trip to Bath City tomorrow are encouraged to cheer on the academy side as they host Burgess Hill in a re-arranged third-qualifying-round FA Youth Cup clash at Westleigh Park tonight (7.45pm).