Hawks boss refuses to push panic button

Harry Medway on the sandy Westleigh Park surface    Picture: Paul Jacobs
Harry Medway on the sandy Westleigh Park surface Picture: Paul Jacobs
Have your say

Lee Bradbury accepts the Hawks need to start winning games as they welcome fellow National League South relegation-battlers Chelmsford City to Westleigh Park (3pm).

The Hawks remained third bottom after their disappointing 3-1 home derby defeat at the hands of Gosport Borough on Tuesday night.

Bradbury’s team paid the price for missing chances against a Borough outfit who proved far more clinical in front of goal.

He knows his team cannot afford to do the same against their Essex visitors if they are to start climbing the table.

Although there is still a lot of football to be played, the Hawks’ position is looking increasingly perilous.

‘We are not going to panic yet but we do need to put a winning run together,’ said Bradbury.

‘It would be different if there were only one or two games left.

‘However, we have plenty of games left to play and time to get ourselves up the league table.

‘Players will need to stand up and be counted.’

The pitch at Westleigh Park is another major concern for Bradbury – with the heavily-sanded surface making it difficult to play decent football.

It is the same for both teams but Borough seemed to cope with it a lot better in midweek. When the Hawks did manage to spread the ball out wide to the decent areas their end product was lacking.

The hosts were also exposed at the back for all three Borough goals.

‘We were a bit naive in our defending at times,’ said Bradbury.

‘There is a need for us to be a bit more horrible at the back and to defend crosses into our area a lot better.

‘We need to be far more resolute. I have said to the players we need to go on a run now starting with the next two home games.

‘For the rest of the season we have to make sure we leave nothing on the pitch.

‘We have to take a leaf out of Gosport’s book and be a lot harder to play against.’

Warren Cummings picked up a hamstring injury in the loss, so Harry Medway is poised to come in full-back.

Bradbury is likely to stick with the same central defensive pair – Josh Hill and Jack Whatmough – but will look for them to be a lot stronger. Up front, the Hawks desperately need to improve their finishing.

Matt Paterson has failed to hit the target with any consistency and Marvin Morgan is still yet to score in the league.

Morgan signed a two-year deal but is currently out of favour.

Shamir Mullings is getting stronger every game but lacks experience in front of goal.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Hill, Whatmough, Medway, Stock, Donnelly, Lewis, Swallow, Mullings, Paterson, Hayter, Ciardini, Molyneaux, Dutton, Thomson, Blanchett