Hawks boss eyes energy boost at Beavers

Matt Tubbs. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Matt Tubbs. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Lewis Fennemore. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Lee Bradbury is looking for the Hawks to rediscover their spark at Hampton & Richmond Borough tomorrow (3pm).

His side looked tired and jaded when they fell to their first National League South defeat of the season against Bath City at Westleigh Park last weekend.

Away from home, though, the Hawks have proved particularly resilient and are yet to be defeated.

A gritty 0-0 draw at Chippenham was followed by an equally hard-earned 1-0 win at Wealdstone.

Bradbury reckons another dogged defensive display will be required against the Beavers.

He said: ‘We suffered a drop in energy against Bath but hopefully we have recharged the batteries and are ready to go again.

‘We have had a pretty hectic schedule, so it has been good to have a week off.

‘This is another tough game – even though Hampton have not had the best of starts.

‘They are still one of the favourites to be at the top.

‘I am confident, however, we can go there and get something.

‘With another game at home against Whitehawk on Bank Holiday Monday, I am looking for us to pick up at least four points from the two games.

‘We are yet to concede a goal and have not been beaten away from home.’

The Hawks will have to improve upon their Bath performance if they are to come away with anything.

For much of that game they were second best, particularly in midfield.

Defensively they were outmuscled at times, crucially for Bath’s first goal, which set them on their way to defeat.

Jason Prior and Alfie Rutherford also struggled to make an impact up front, despite the former putting the Hawks ahead just before half-time.

The Hawks main problem, however, is getting their squad up to speed after a disrupted pre-season. Dan Strugnell remains on the sidelines with a knee injury.

He had a scan and an injection this week to try to alleviate the problem.

Mike Carter limped out of the Bath game with a toe injury and there are still fitness doubts over Brian Stock and Matt Tubbs.

The Hawks could do with a fully-fit Tubbs to partner Prior up front.

Rory Williams is another doubt after breaking down in training.

In defence, Bradbury may consider a return to action for Ryan Woodford, who has missed a couple of games through illness.

The boss added: ‘Matt Tubbs missed a lot of pre-season and he is working hard to get fully fit. He is available but it is case of how long he can play.

‘We have got two games in three days, so all the squad will be needed.

‘The win at Wealdstone should give us the confidence to get something from Hampton.’

Hawks: Young, Robinson, Woodford, Harris, Williams, Lewis, Widdrington, Carter, Prior, Tubbs, Rutherford, Barker, Hayter, Stock, Tarbuck, Molyneaux