Hawks and Gosport avoid draw

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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Lee Bradbury has taken home comforts while Alex Pike relished a lengthy road trip after Hawks and Gosport Borough were kept apart in the FA Trophy quarter-final draw.

The dream of a derby in a Wembley final is still alive for both clubs.

Bradbury’s Hawks were given a home tie against Skrill premier outfit Aldershot, while Pike’s Borough side were handed a clash at Hull-based Skrill north leaders North Ferriby United.

With the ties scheduled for February 1, Bradbury insisted he’d had no fears ahead of the draw.

But the former Pompey striker was more than happy at another Westleigh Park date after their impressive 1-0 success over Ebbsfleet on Saturday.

He said: ‘There are some very good teams left in the competition but we don’t fear anyone.

‘I would have been happy playing anyone at home, to be honest.

‘It’s nice to have a home draw. It’s certainly not easy against Aldershot from the higher division but we will give it our best shot and it should be a good crowd against another Hampshire club.

‘We’re into the last eight and now we’ve got as good a chance as everyone else of going all the way to Wembley and we will be looking forward to it.’

Pike, who led Wimborne Town to FA Vase glory at the old Wembley in 1992, believes the trip will boost team spirit.

The Gosport boss was pleased to avoid Hawks and Eastleigh.

He said: ‘I think we’re probably all glad that we have avoided each other, although the chairman might think differently.

‘It’s always nice to play a team from a different league away from home.

‘When I was lucky enough to win the FA Vase with Wimborne, we had some really long trips but I saw the team spirit really grow.

‘You see the bond between the players develop and that can only help your league form.

‘Managers often say they want a home draw and normally your home record is superior to your away record.

‘We are no different in that respect.

‘But when it comes to a one-off game in a cup competition, I only see the benefits.’

Aldershot have climbed out of the relegation zone from the Skrill premier, despite starting the campaign on minus 10 points.

While North Ferriby lead the Skrill north on goal difference and have taken scalps from the division above them already in their campaign.

Pike said: ‘We are travelling to a team that is top of their table and has beaten three Skrill premier teams so people will be saying “there’s only one winner and it’s North Ferriby”.

‘So I guess we will go up there, get the deck chairs out and enjoy our caravan trip to Hull for the weekend.

‘Then again, we might go up there and give it everything we’ve got.’

Pike added: ‘The players are looking forward to it. The Friday night belongs to me and I will get them ready but Saturday night is their night.

‘But I don’t think they know Yorkshire very well because they are talking about having a night out in Leeds, which is about an hour-and-a-half away!

‘That tells you about the geography skills of my players.’

Meanwhile, Hawks’ Skrill South trip to Boreham Wood fell victim to the weather again last night.