Bradbury warns Hawks of cup banana skin

Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
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Hawks manager Lee Bradbury has warned his side not to expect an easy passage against AFC Portchester in the semi-finals of the Hampshire Senior Cup.

The Skrill South team will start as hot favourites when they host their Wessex League premier division neighbours at the beginning of next month.

However, Bradbury knows the tie is fraught with dangers.

‘I know their manager Graham Rix well and have played under him at Portsmouth and Oxford,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘He will have them set up well and organised.

‘His teams are hardworking and try to play football the right way.

‘They have only lost a couple of games in their league all season so will be confident in their approach.

‘We know they have good players in their ranks.

‘They recently acquired Jake Thomson who I played with at Bournemouth.

‘I know what he is capable of and on his day he is probably the best player in their league.

‘We will have to be careful because it is a potential banana skin for us.’

Bradbury is keen to see the Hawks achieve an end-of-season Fratton Park cup final and go on to win the competition for the first time in their history.

In previous seasons the Hawks have lost to lower-level sides.

Bradbury feels he learned a big lesson at Sholing last season when his team were dumped out.

‘We went back there this season and won well,’ he said.

‘I like to think we now take all games equally seriously and want to win.

‘Getting to Fratton Park and winning the cup is something the players want to achieve.

‘Being at home is an advantage but it means the pressure will be on us.’

The other semi-final sees Gosport Borough host Basingstoke.

In the meantime, Bradbury and his Hawks are preparing for their FA Trophy quarter-final against Aldershot Town at Westleigh Park tomorrow night after the game was postponed on Saturday.