Hawks aim to end on high

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks striker Jason Prior celebrates hitting the target for the first time since November. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181103-1)

Bradbury: My Hawks won’t be bullied

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The Hawks will look to lose their nearly-men tag by beating Basingstoke Town in the Hampshire Senior Cup final at Fratton Park tonight (7.30pm).

Lee Bradbury’s team are hoping to make it third time lucky after missing out on two big prizes this season.

His side lost out on an FA Trophy final appearance at Wembley by losing over two legs to south-coast rivals Gosport Borough.

Even more gutting was their failure to make the Skrill South play-offs.

The goalless draw in the final game of the season at Tonbridge Angels allowed Dover Athletic to sneak past them on goal difference.

Dover have since gone on to claim promotion into the Skrill Premier.

The Hawks, meanwhile, have made the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup twice before but are yet to lift the Trophy.

Bradbury is determined to see his team end the season with some silverware.

He said: ‘We are all still hurting from missing out in the Trophy and play-offs. With all the hard work put in this season, I think we deserve to come away winning something.

‘We don’t want to be regarded as the nearly men.

‘The players are determined to go out there and give it everything.

‘I expect them to go out there, grab the occasion by the scruff of the neck and give it a real go.’

Two players not involved are midfield pair Eddie Hutchinson and Steve Ramsey who have been released by the club.

Loan players are not allowed to feature, which rules out keeper Benji Buchel and forward Aristede Bassele.

Scott Donnelly is cup-tied after playing for Farnborough.

Experienced keeper Scott Bevan is still troubled by a back injury, putting young talent Charlie Searle in the frame for a sixth senior appearance.

‘This will be a tough game – Basingstoke have some good players,’ said Bradbury.

‘Hopefully the fans will come out in force.’

Hawks (from): Searle, Beavan, Strugnell, Woodford, Harris, Monteiro, Blanchett, Cummings, Atangana, Ryan, Ciardini, Jones, Nanetti, Kabba, Oli, Cummings, Newton, Przespolewski