Bradbury: Hawks can’t afford to relax

Bradley Bubb was on the mark during the Hawks' 3-1 win at Eastbourne Borough last weekend
Bradley Bubb was on the mark during the Hawks' 3-1 win at Eastbourne Borough last weekend
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Lee Bradbury wants the Hawks to open up the gap on their play-off-chasing rivals by beating Maidenhead United at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

Last weekend’s 3-1 win at Eastbourne Borough took them up to fourth in the Vanarama Conference South table and gave them a two-point lead over sixth-placed Gosport Borough.

After their confident performance in Sussex, Bradbury believes his team are in the right mindset to pick up another win.

Most importantly, his strikers rediscovered their goalscoring touch to end their recent goal drought.

Bradley Bubb, Ben Wright and Shamir Mullings all found the back of the net – and that will give the trio and the team a vital confidence boost ahead of some important games.

‘It is so tight at the top that it’s important that we keep winning,’ said Bradbury.

‘We have given ourselves a little breathing space but that doesn’t mean we can afford to relax.

‘It has been proved that anyone can beat anyone in this league so we have to remain focused.

‘The win at Eastbourne was massive for us and hopefully scoring will give the strikers the confidence boost they need.

‘For them it is all about having the confidence to score when the chances come along.

‘We have not found it easy to score at home recently because teams have come and got players behind the ball to frustrate us.

‘They have looked to catch us on the break or sneak a goal from a set-piece.

‘It is a compliment to us that teams do that but our challenge is finding a way to break them down.

‘It means we have to remain patient at times and maintain the belief in the way we play.’

Bradbury feels Maidenhead possess an attacking threat that will encourage them to play the Hawks at their own game.

The visitors have picked up some good results lately – including a win over promotion-chasing Chelmsford City – and will present the home side with a tricky test.

Josh Huggins and Nic Ciardini are still suspended for the hosts but Bradbury has been encouraged by the performances of young Bournemouth loanee Harry Cornick.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has impressed in both his outings so far and freshened up the Hawks at a crucial time.

Bradbury is delighted with his contribution and the influence he has had.

‘Harry has probably been man of the match in both his games,’ added the manager.

‘He has great fitness levels and pace which can take him 30 or 40 yards up the pitch in a few seconds.

‘Our opener at Eastbourne came because he was prepared to gamble and then show the maturity to square the ball across.

‘I am convinced Harry will have a good future in the game, but at the moment he can do a big job for us.’

HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Dutton, Harris, Cummings, Stock, Donnelly, Cornick, Swallow, Wright, Bubb, Mullings, Blanchett, Ryan, Hooper, Connell