Bradbury focused despite latest setback

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury   Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Dave Haines
Wes Fogden in action for the Hawks. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Bradbury fires warning as Hawks eye top spot

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The fixture backlog continues to build for the Hawks after their Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final against Sholing at Westleigh Park became the latest victim of the weather.

The visitors arrived 40 minutes before kick-off last night, only to be told that the match referee had called the game off.

It is the latest blow to the Hawks who were confident the match would go ahead following four day’s hard work on the pitch and the ground surroundings.

Yesterday’s late afternoon rain, however, made a small area of the pitch unplayable in the official’s opinion and the two clubs will have to meet again at a later date yet to be decided.

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury was hoping his players would get a run out ahead of Saturday’s Blue Square Bet South game at Dorchester Town.

He admitted his side’s latest postponement is a frustrating situation but claimed his priority remains keeping his players focused despite a lack of football.

‘It is really disappointing because the pitch was fine until the rain came in,’ said Bradbury.

‘Where the pitch has been frozen with the snow, the water just laid on top.

‘To be honest, it was unsafe.

‘We have now had our last four games called off all due to the weather.

‘It is no good worrying about it, we have to look forward to our next game.

‘We need to make sure we keep the players’ minds on the task but that won’t be difficult because they are desperate to play games.’

Since the end of last week, a myriad of volunteers have turned up at Westleigh Park to help clear snow from the pitch and surrounding areas.

Bradbury, his assistant Shaun Gale and chairman Derek Pope – along with a number of fans – got through a mountain of work trying to get the Sholing game on.

The manager was quick to pay tribute to the volunteers and the community spirit it displayed.

‘Volunteers have come in from left, right and centre to help out,’ said Bradbury.

‘It has been a fantastic effort and we couldn’t have done anymore to get the game on.

‘It is great the fans want to come in and help and there is a good community feel at the moment about the place.’

The Hawks face a season-defining period over the next month which will decide whether they can launch a late bid for the play-offs or be involved in a relegation battle.

The league is so tight that only seven points separate fifth-placed Farnborough and the Hawks, who are fourth from bottom.

Bradbury insists the Hawks are only looking to go in one direction – and that is upwards.

Back-to-back wins can easily see them propelled up the league table, but at the same time defeats would leave them entrenched in a fight for survival..

‘Every point is critical,’ said Bradbury.

‘With the fixtures building up, it is going to be a bit of a juggling act with the squad who will all have a part to play.’