Hawks forced to wait yet again

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury, right, with Shaun Gale Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury, right, with Shaun Gale Picture: Dave Haines
Ollie Pearce scored for Bognor in their match today. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Bognor get first win in six months

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Lee Bradbury admitted he is becoming increasingly concerned at the Hawks’ fixture backlog as their wait for a first league game of 2014 goes on.

The Hawks boss saw yet another game lost to the weather, after last night’s Skrill South game against Bishop’s Stortford at Westleigh Park fell victim to the weekend rain.

The match was called off following an early-morning pitch inspection, with the pitch showing few signs of recovery.

It is the latest setback to Bradbury and his ambition to push for a place in the play-offs.

With the Hawks also losing their last two Saturday home fixtures to the elements, the situation is becoming serious.

And it has left the manager increasingly frustrated and wary of a run of fixtures that will be a huge test of his squad’s physical capabilities.

‘The weather is driving me mad at the moment,’ said Bradbury.

‘It means we have not been able to play a league game so far this year.

‘A big backlog of games is building up and we find ourselves more and more having to play catch-up.

‘It is the south coast clubs that are being affected the most, with an abnormal amount of rain falling in the area.

‘If we are not careful we are going to find ourselves playing three times a week and that will add further implications. That will put massive demands on our squad and increase the chances of injury.’

Fortunately for the 15th-placed Hawks, while they have not been playing, other results have gone their way.

It means they are still only eight points adrift of fifth-placed Weston-Super-Mare with a staggering six games in hand.

After the latest postponement, now the major concern for the Hawks is getting their pitch fit for Saturday’s massive FA Trophy quarter-final tie against Skrill South Premier outfit Aldershot Town.

Frustratingly, a large part of the pitch is perfectly playable but a 30-square-yard area in the middle and to one side is causing a headache.

The Hawks tried to protect the area with covers at the weekend, only to have the strong winds blow them off.

Parts of the affected area are under water and it is wet and squelchy under foot.

‘We are seeking to get some professional help in trying to solve the problem,’ said Bradbury.

‘The aim is to give us the best possible chance of getting our FA Trophy game on.’

Without games, Bradbury admits his priority is to keep his players fit and involved ready for when they start playing again.

On Saturday the manager took his squad running on Southsea seafront to keep their fitness levels up.

Trophy opponents Aldershot have avoided such problems and have played on a more regular basis.

‘Preparing for this game hasn’t been easy,’ said Bradbury.

‘We have to put all that to the back of our minds, though. And on a positive note, our players have had a good rest.

‘They are all champing at the bit to get out on the pitch again.’