Hawks keen to give Forest Green the chop

Lee Bradbury is hopeful on-loan Godfrey Poku will be given permission to play against Forest Green Rovers by parent club Woking
Lee Bradbury is hopeful on-loan Godfrey Poku will be given permission to play against Forest Green Rovers by parent club Woking
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The Hawks face a tall order as they look to chop down Forest Green Rovers in their first-round FA Trophy tie at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

The Vanarama National League visitors are currently second in their division and pushing for promotion to the Football League.

They showed their quality last week when pushing League Two leaders Oxford United all the way before losing 1-0 in the FA Cup.

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury is under no illusions of the difficulties his side will face in trying to cause a Trophy upset.

He knows his National League South strugglers will have to raise their game if they are to pull off a memorable victory.

‘There will be a few surprise results in the Trophy and we have to try and produce one of them,’ said Bradbury.

‘Forest Green will be a tough nut to crack, though, because they have a good team which contains a lot of experience.

‘No-one will be giving us a chance so all the pressure will be on them

‘Our aim must be to get at them and try to make it as uncomfortable as we can for them.

‘A good performance and result could give our confidence a massive boost.

‘It is a chance to turn our league form on its head and to spark a change of fortune.’

Bradbury’s main concern all season has been the Hawks’ defence, which has proved vulnerable and frail at crucial times.

Injuries to key players hasn’t helped and the manager is hoping that Brian Dutton will be fit to return to the heart of the back line.

His experience could make a big difference against opponents of the calibre of Forest Green.

Bradbury would also like to include on-loan attacking-midfielder Godfrey Poku, but his presence depends on how negotiations with his parent club Woking progress.

The Hawks are keen to extend his stay or sign him on a permanent basis after he scored four goals in his first two games for the club.

‘Godfrey is a real winner and can be very effective,’ said Bradbury.

‘He has great energy and is good in the tackle.’

The home side are almost certainly going to be without Warren Cummings and Adrian Clifton who are both injured.

There is optimism that young central-defender Manny Monthe may be fit to return to the squad following a hamstring problem.

The Hawks have some idea of what to expect against Forest Green after their FA Cup exploits earlier this season.

They will take a lot of encouragement from their two games against National League leaders Cheltenham Town in that competition.

In the first game at Westleigh Park Bradbury’s team battled to a 3-3 draw and only went down 1-0 in the replay following another spirited performance.

‘We will need to raise our game and fight just as hard as we did in the games against Cheltenham,’ added the boss.

‘Those performances showed we can be competitive against National League opposition.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Molyneaux, Dutton, Blanchett, Stock, Poku, Lewis, Swallow, Paterson, Hayter, Medway,Donnelly, Ciardini, Thomson, Mullings, Morgan, Searle C, Gale