Bradbury wary of Larkhall threat

Manny Monthe will miss the Hawks' Cup replay through suspension Picture: Allan Hutchings
Manny Monthe will miss the Hawks' Cup replay through suspension Picture: Allan Hutchings
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LEE BRADBURY has called on the Hawks to finish the job off against Larkhall Athletic in their FA Cup second-qualifying-round replay at Westleigh Park tonight (7.45pm).

The Southern League division one south & west side held the Hawks to a 1-1 draw on Saturday, despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.

That left Bradbury scratching his head in disbelief as his team failed to wrap up the victory after going 1-0 up.

The visitors hit the woodwork twice, had two other efforts cleared off the line, and squandered a host of other clear-cut chances.

And in the end they paid the price for one piece of sloppy defending which led to the Larkhall equaliser.

‘We matched them for desire, passion and work-rate and it is still difficult to understand how we didn’t win at the weekend,’ said Bradbury.

‘It was as dominant as we have been all season and the best we have played for a while.

‘We can’t afford to make the mistake of thinking the job is already done.

‘They (Larkhall) can come and play with a freedom thinking all the pressure is now on us.

‘They have got nothing to lose and that can make them dangerous.

‘There won’t be any complacency in our camp.

‘If we apply ourselves the same way as in the first game we should be okay.

‘We are a side that is creating lots of chances and we have to put more of them away.’

Bradbury is again forced to make changes at the back, with central defender Manny Monthe ruled out by a one-game ban.

Veteran defender Pedro Monteiro was drafted in for his first start of the season at Larkhall and will continue in his team-mate’s absence.

Dan Strugnell is likely to move from full-back to partner him in the centre of defence.

That could mean new Pompey loanee Calvin Davies being called into the squad at full-back.

Davies signed a youth loan with the Westleigh Park club last week but wasn’t registered in time to feature at The Plain Ham Ground.

Larkhall showed that they are a strong, physical, direct side who play with a robust style.

Brian Stock came in for some brutal treatment on Saturday, along with a few others, but Bradbury was pleased with the way his team stood up to the challenge.

The Hawks are expecting more of the same, although home advantage should make life a little easier.

‘Our Westleigh Park pitch is a much better playing surface and will allow us to pass the ball better,’ added Bradbury.

‘Conditions should suit us as long as we match their physicality again.

‘They will come to try to ruffle our feathers again and we have to be ready for that.’

HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Monteiro, Blanchett, Cummings, Davies, Stock, Donnelly, Swallow, Azeez, Paterson, Hayter, Thomson, Morgan, Mullings, Searle, Clifton