Bradbury reinforces Hawks with double swoop

Josh Carmichael in action for Gosport Borough against the Hawks last season. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14752-4)
Josh Carmichael in action for Gosport Borough against the Hawks last season. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14752-4)
Blu Boam in action against Bashley. Picture: Keith Woodland

No blues for Boam on Baffins return

  • Cherries duo arrive to boost play-off push
  • Cornick returns with Carmichael
  • Boss plots downfall of dangerous Chelmsford
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Lee Bradbury has reinforced his squad ahead of the vital Vanarama Conference South visit to Chelmsford City tomorrow (3pm).

AFC Bournemouth talents Josh Carmichael and Harry Cornick have signed for the Hawks until the end of the season.

It is important we have the numbers and quality in the squad to make sure we get where we want to be

Lee Bradbury

And the duo have gone straight into the squad for the trip to Essex.

‘I feel we need to strengthen to make sure we don’t leave ourselves a bit short for the run-in,’ said Westleigh Park boss Bradbury.

‘It is important we have the numbers and quality in the squad to make sure we get where we want to be.’

Cornick has already had one loan spell with the Hawks – impressing in a couple of games before picking up an injury.

Two consecutive defeats on the road have dented the ambitions of Bradbury’s troops and they can ill-afford another reverse in Essex.

The fight to reach the play-offs is intensifying by the week and is becoming a test of nerve for the teams involved.

It was the Hawks’ nerve that failed them in midweek.

They went down to a 3-2 defeat at Concord Rangers – despite taking an early lead with a goal from hitman Ben Wright.

The Hawks remained in fourth spot after the defeat.

But while they have a three-point buffer zone ahead of the chasing clubs, a number of their rivals have games in hand.

Bradbury accepts it is vital that his team bounce back to winning ways.

‘We must look to pick up our momentum again,’ said the boss.

‘This will be another big test for us because Chelmsford have beaten a lot of the top teams this season.

‘They will feel they still have an outside chance themselves and will consider it a must-win game.

‘It means we will have to raise our game to counter their enthusiasm and hard work.

‘We have picked up some excellent wins on the road this season.

‘And we must look to add another to them tomorrow.

‘The key has been keeping clean sheets and we need to get back to doing that.’

Stock, who will tomorrow play his last game before a five-match suspension, will be especially keen to sign off with the right result.

If the Hawks fail to make the play-offs, he will not play again until next season.

Striker Bradley Bubb is a fitness doubt for the trip to Chelmsford after he was forced off at half-time in the Concord game with a hamstring problem.

JJ Hooper is likely to be drafted in if Bubb fails to recover.

Bradbury feels his team were unfortunate to come away from Concord empty-handed but accepts there are things they need to do better.

He said: ‘We can pass the ball a lot better than we did at times.

‘Also our decision-making has got to be better.

‘We have to know when to try and play and when to just clear the ball.

‘At times we found ourselves vulnerable to the counter-attack and that is something we have to address.

‘We need to get back to keeping clean sheets.’

Hawks: (from) Young, Strugnell, Dutton, Harris, Cummings, Stock, Donnelly, Swallow, Wright, Hooper, Huggins, Woodford, Blanchett, Awford, Ryan, Mullings, Bubb, Connell