Bradbury wary of keeping in touch

Hawks striker Bradley Bubb Picture: Mick Young
Hawks striker Bradley Bubb Picture: Mick Young
Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Hawks hoping pitch problems won’t stop Hamble tie

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Lee Bradbury wants the Hawks to get back to winning ways in the Vanarama Conference South by beating south coast rivals Eastbourne Borough at Westleigh Park (3pm).

A 1-0 defeat at St Albans City a fortnight ago – their last game in the league after FA Trophy and Hampshire Senior Cup commitments – saw the Westleigh Park outfit slip out of the top five.

Bradbury doesn’t want to lose any more ground on the leaders.

And he recognises the importance of going into the busy Christmas period with a winning momentum behind them.

‘Ideally, I am looking for three points from this game because there is a gap opening up at the top,’ said Bradbury.

‘It is important that we stay with the leading group and that means getting the right result.

‘The games come thick and fast in the next few weeks and a lot can change in a short period of time.

‘A few wins can take you to the top but at the same time poor results can send you sliding way down the league.

‘It is the teams who stay focused and remain professional during the Christmas festivities that will do best.

‘Players need to think about that every time they go to pick up a mince pie in the coming weeks.

‘I am sure it is a time when our professionalism can shine through and make a difference.’

Eastbourne, managed by wily manager Tommy Widdrington, will pose plenty of problems for the home side.

There is plenty of experience in their ranks and the Hawks will need to be at their best to secure a win.

Bradbury also knows his strikers will need to get back on the goal trail after a barren few weeks.

The Hawks have scored just one goal in their past three league games.

But help is at hand after yesterday’s signing of Eastleigh front man Ben Wright on an 18-month deal.

With 13 goals in 16 appeareances for the Spitfires, he is expected to go straight into the side for tomorrow’s game, with JJ Hopper and Alan Connell both doubtful due to injury.

‘We need our strikers to start doing what they are paid for and that is to put the ball in the net,’ said Bradbury.

‘In the last month they have been a bit shy in front of goal.

‘We are creating plenty of chances but someone needs to start sticking them in. At St Albans and Gosport good chances went begging.’

Bradbury is boosted by the return of Brian Stock and Warren Cummings from suspension.

This could mean Perry Ryan and Dan Blanchett going back to the substitutes’ bench again.

Ben Swallow is likely to continue out wide as he looks to add to his two-goal tally against East Thurrock in the FA Trophy.

Nic Ciardini and Harry Medway strengthened their case for inclusion in the squad with excellent performances in the midweek Hampshire Senior Cup tie at Gosport.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Harris, Dutton, Cummings, Stock, Swallow,Donnelly, Huggins, Bubb, Mullings, Ciardini, Woodford, Blanchett, Ryan, Wedlake, Medway, Przespolewski, Connell