Hawks aiming to pull the plug on Bath City’s fast start

Manny Monthe. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Manny Monthe. Picture: Allan Hutchings
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The Hawks are plotting to pull the plug on Bath City’s perfect start in the Vanarama National League South at Twerton Park (3pm).

The West Country side have won all five of their opening games only conceding three goals in the process.

It was a freak goal, a one-off that will never happen again

Ryan Young

After losing their opening two games Bradbury’s team have bounced back with two wins and a draw.

Lee Bradbury accepts it is another big test for his injury-hit squad, still without long-term absentees Ed Harris and Lee Molyneaux.

‘We are improving every game but this is another stiff test for us,’ said Bradbury.

‘Bath will be full of confidence after their start and that is something we will have to deal with.

‘It is vital we go there and don’t boost their confidence further by conceding early on.

‘The key is to make sure we stay in the game and frustrate them.

‘If we can do that then we have the quality in our squad to go there and win the game.’

Bradbury can take a lot of encouragement from the improvement his team are starting to show at the back.

They have kept two clean sheets in their last three games with Manny Monthe and Brian Dutton starting to form a solid partnership.

Monthe has come in on a short-term basis to cover for injuries and done well under difficult circumstances.

‘We are looking more secure at the back and that is down to players getting used to playing alongside each other,’ said Bradbury.

‘Manny has come in and settled us down and Brian Dutton is getting back to his best.’

Up front Bradbury will be looking for his strikers to start finding the net on a more regular basis.

Matt Paterson has one goal to his name with James Hayter and Marvin Morgan still to score.

It was a lack of goals from the frontmen that almost cost the Hawks their play-off place last season.

Bradbury has brought in the new trio to help solve that problem and will hope they fire tomorrow.

‘Matt (Paterson) will be disappointed he has only scored once,’ said the Hawks manager.

‘He has had a few opportunities and is getting closer all the time.’

The Hawks won at Twerton Park last season with a goal from their goalkeeper Ryan Young.

However, the man himself is not expecting a repeat tomorrow.

‘It was a freak goal, a one-off that will never happen again,’ said Young.

‘I kick a long ball and our players often complain that it is too long.

‘To be fair, I felt sorry for their keeper because it was a wet day and the ball just skidded over him.’

Bradbury expects to have Nic Ciardini and Brian Stock in his squad.

They have both had knocks but are hopefully on course to recover in time to be available for selection for the match.

Hawks (from): Young, Strugnell, Monthe, Dutton, Blanchett, Stock, Clifton, Donnelly, Swallow, Ciardini Paterson, Morgan, Hayter, Medway, Ridge, Monteiro