Bradbury: Hawks must maintain standards for tricky Dartford clash

Hawks striker Jason Prior. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Hawks striker Jason Prior. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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LEE BRADBURY wants another high tempo performance from the Hawks as they take on Dartford in the Vanarama National League South at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

Despite being badly hit by injuries and illness it has been an excellent unbeaten start to the season.

They followed up their hard fought goalless draw at Chippenham Town on the opening day with a 3-2 home win over Eastbourne Borough in midweek.

The Hawks were far better value for their win than the scoreline suggested, with Borough scoring twice in stoppage-time.

For most of the game the Sussex side struggled to cope with the pace and intensity of the Hawks attacking play.

Bradbury knows his side will need more of the same against Dartford who are one of the title favourites.

‘Dartford will give us our toughest test yet,’ said Bradbury.

‘They have drawn both their games and won’t be an easy side to beat.

‘I have to be pleased, however, with the way we have started considering all the problems we have had.

‘Against Eastbourne we produced some of our best football for a while.

‘We showed excellent fitness levels and excellent pace.

‘It was a pleasing performance if you take away the last four minutes.

‘Our challenge is to make sure we maintain the standards we have set ourselves.’

Bradbury is expected to make few changes to the side though central defender Ryan Woodford has recovered from illness and comes back into the squad.

Summer signing Matt Tubbs made an appearance as substitute in midweek but the striker is unlikely to be ready to play a full game.

It could be a couple of weeks before he is fully fit and ready to play 90 minutes on a regular basis.

He is working hard behind the scenes so that when he returns he can make a positive impact.

In the meantime Alfie Rutherford is likely to continue alongside target man Jason Prior.

One particularly pleasing feature for Bradbury was the shooting power displayed by his team in their opening win.

Pompey loanee Theo Widdrington opened the scoring and midway through the half Rory Williams grabbed the second goal.

‘Sometimes when teams sit off you need players who can do that to open the door for you,’ said Bradbury.

‘It has all been very encouraging so far but we won’t allow ourselves to get too carried away.’

Bradbury looks set to add to his squad as he has offered a deal to Japanese Portsmouth University student Hayato Yoshida.

The club are awaiting international clearance.

Hawks: Young, Robinson, Harris, Molyneaux, Williams, Lewis, Carter, Widdrington, Fogden, Rutherford, Prior, Woodford, Barker, Stock, Tubbs, Hayter