Hawks aim to find Wey past Terras

JJ Hooper is back in training
JJ Hooper is back in training
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Lee Bradbury has warned his Hawks players to expect a tough test from Weymouth in their FA Trophy first round tie at the Bob Lucas Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

The Southern League premier division outfit are unbeaten at home this season and will present a stern test for the visitors.

Bradbury watched the Terras come from behind to beat Bideford 2-1 in midweek.

The Hawks boss saw enough to know the home side will be dangerous opponents.

He said: ‘Weymouth have got a number of good experienced players in their side, some of whom were playing at our level last season.

‘They will come at us and look to play football in our terrritory.

‘Being unbeaten at home will also give them added confidence and a belief they can maintain that record.

‘They will work hard to close us down and I am expecting it to be a tough game.

‘We have to go there and match their work-rate and hope our little bit of extra quality comes through.

‘They won’t have come up against many teams of our calibre so far this season.

‘It is up to us to be on our mettle and be brave on the ball.’

Bradbury accepts his team will need to improve on their previous away performance when they lost 1-0 at St Albans City in the league.

The manager felt his team were not brave enough on the ball, while his strikers failed to capitalise on some glorious opportunities.

In response, Bradbury boosted his fire-power by bringing in new striker Ben Wright from Vanarama Premier side Eastleigh.

Wright made a dream start with a goal on his debut in the 2-1 win over Eastbourne Borough and his eye for goal could prove crucial against the Dorset opponents.

‘Ben came in last week and did what he is best at, which is putting the ball in the net,’ said Bradbury.

‘He hasn’t played a full 90 minutes yet this season, so he is only going to get quicker, fitter and sharper.

‘His goal came as a result of great anticipation after Scott Donnelly’s shot came back down off the crossbar.’

Bradbury’s striking options could also be boosted by the return of leading goalscorer JJ Hooper, who is now back in training.

Hooper has been troubled by a hamstring injury in recent weeks and, if fit, may have to settle for a place among the substitutes.

The visitors are without their winger Ben Swallow who is suspended after being sent off in the last round.

His creativity and ability to take defenders on will be missed.

But Bradbury has the option of bringing either Nic Ciardini or Josh Huggins back into the team.

The Hawks boss believes his team may be able to exploit the space with the home side known for adopting an attacking approach.

It will be key for Bradbury’s men to stay solid at the back.

‘Weymouth like to throw bodies forward so we will look to hit them on the counter-attack,’ added the Hawks manager.

‘I am looking to keep another clean sheet and to go out there to win the game.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Harris, Dutton, Cummings, Stock, Ryan, Donnelly, Wright, Bubb, Ciardini, Huggins, Blanchett, Woodford, Mullings, Connell, Medway, Searle