Bradbury: Let’s finish the job off

Jake Newton's goal-line clearance ensured the Hawks would replay their FA Cup tie with Gloucester City
Jake Newton's goal-line clearance ensured the Hawks would replay their FA Cup tie with Gloucester City
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Lee Bradbury is backing his Hawks to finish the job against Gloucester City in tonight’s FA Cup second qualifying round replay at Westleigh Park (7.45pm).

The two sides fought out a tough 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road on Sunday.

But with home advantage, the Hawks will now be regarded as favourites to go through to the next round, with a trip to Yate Town awaiting the winners.

The Hawks boss knows, however, that his team cannot afford to think they have already done all the hard work or take anything for granted.

Gloucester certainly showed enough in the first game to suggest they can make life difficult for the Hawks and spring a major surprise.

‘We still have a lot of hard work to do if we are to get through,’ said Bradbury.

‘The job is not done yet and it is only half-time in the tie.

‘Gloucester are a big, strong team who physically battle and work hard.

‘They also have good experience in their side.

‘Their aim will be to try to frustrate us and nick a goal from a set-piece.

‘They will be looking to get something from the long ball up to their front man and we can expect another tough 90 minutes ahead of us.

‘But now we have home advantage and must look to make that count.

‘The majority of the things to come out of the first game were positive for us.’

Although pleased to have the replay, the Hawks will feel they could have won the game first time around.

Dennis Oli put them in the driving seat with a 57th-minute goal, and the same player was convinced he should have had a penalty when he was brought down by the Gloucester goalkeeper inside the area.

At 2-0 the Tigers would have been dead and buried.

But, instead, they hit back to level in the 67th minute and went close to winning it.

And with two minutes left, the Hawks were indebted to Jake Newton’s goal-line clearance to keep his side in the tie.

But Bradbury believes his team can now make the most of that to claim their place in the next round against a club from Southern League division one south & west.

‘On our own pitch, which will be a bit slicker, we will be able to pass the ball better than we did at the weekend,’ said Bradbury.

‘And we will put in place a few ideas where we think we can hurt them.’

Skipper Ed Harris is expected to miss out after limping out of the action on Sunday with ankle ligament damage.

Meanwhile, Bognor face their replay clash with Weymouth at Nyewood Lane with a trip to Cirencester awaiting the winners of that tie.

The Rocks should already have sealed their place in the next round after Ben Johnson and Aaron Hopkinson put them 2-0 up and cruising at the weekend.

But the Terras hit back with two late goals in the final five minutes that saw Weymouth get themselves out of jail.