Bradbury frustrated as Hawks are grounded

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Ollie Pearce scored for Bognor in their match today. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Bognor get first win in six months

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Lee Bradbury has admitted the postponement of the Hawks’ clash with Maidenhead United could not have come at a worse time.

His troops have lost just one of their past 11 games in Blue Square Bet South – leaving confidence sky-high at Westleigh Park.

But the Hawks are without a match next weekend.

And although they were keen to rearrange Saturday’s match for tomorrow, the Magpies boss was not keen.

Bradbury is therefore facing a battle to keep his side on top form until they resume action on Good Friday with the visit of Truro City.

‘It is frustrating because we are on a good run and my players are full of confidence,’ said the boss.

‘We want the games to keep coming thick and fast and it is a shame we now face a break.

‘There is still the possibility we can fit the Maidenhead game in a week tomorrow but we have to wait and see.

‘That would give us a Tuesday-Friday-Monday sequence of games – which we can handle.’

Despite putting covers over their Westleigh Park pitch, the heavy rain seeped through.

It left the surface was waterlogged – and gave the referee little option but to call the game off early on Saturday.

Bradbury now faces the challenge of keeping his players busy and fresh before their next outing.

He intends to go ahead with the regular intensive training sessions during the week before giving his players next weekend off.

And while the boss reckons the Hawks’ chances of making a late challenge for the play-offs remain slim, he insists there is still plenty at stake.

Not least the Westleigh Park future of several members of his current squad.

‘I am starting to look ahead to next season and some of the players will be looking for new contracts,’ said Bradbury.

‘The players know they still have a lot of work to do.

‘We have got great competition for places throughout the team and that is something I believe in.’

Meanwhile, Bradbury is keen to bolster his current resources following the exit of several players last week.

Midfielders Jesse Kewley-Graham and Eman Ighorae both returned to their parent club Wycombe Wanderers.

And two defenders also left for loan spells elsewhere.

Ryan Woodford has penned a short-term deal with Gosport Borough and Paul Hinshelwood moved to Whitehawk.

Woodford has signed up for an initial month at Privett Park, but that could be extended and he aims to get back to playing regularly.

The talented young defender had established himself in the Hawks’ line-up before he got injured over the festive period.

His misfortune opened the door for AFC Bournemouth centre-back Dan Strugnell to come in – and the Cherries ace grabbed his chance.

He has formed a magnificent partnership with Ed Harris in the heart of the defence – leaving Woodford kicking his heels.

Hinshelwood, who has been one of the Hawks’ most loyal servants in recent times, is with Ryman League premier division Whitehawk for the remainder of the season.

He has seen his chances at Westleigh Park become limited because of the superb form of Jake Newton at full-back.