Hawks keen to strike right note at Silverlake

Perry Ryan scored a brace in the Hawks' 2-2 draw with Salisbury at the weekend Picture: Dave Haines
Perry Ryan scored a brace in the Hawks' 2-2 draw with Salisbury at the weekend Picture: Dave Haines
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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The Hawks head into derby action against Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium tonight desperate to propel themselves away from the Blue Square Bet South relegation places.

Lee Bradbury’s side find themselves just one point above the drop zone and in 19th spot after a difficult run of games against the division’s top sides in recent weeks.

The Hawks picked up good points at Farnborough and Chelmsford City, before fighting back bravely to force a 2-2 draw against leaders Salisbury City at Westleigh Park on Saturday.

To come away from those three games undefeated deserves a lot of credit.

But Bradbury is disappointed his team did not get the wins their performances warranted, believing the Hawks should have come away with more points.

They were by far the better side in the fog at Chelmsford, and Bradbury is convinced a win was inevitable against Salisbury before the unfortunate Scott Jones had to be withdrawn from the action because of injury.

Jones was involved in a nasty collision with the City goalkeeper and had to be taken to hospital.

And having used all three substitutes, the home side were forced to battle out the final 15 minutes a man short.

Even then they went close to snatching a remarkable win, with a dipping effort from Christian Nanetti narrowly dropping over the bar.

Thankfully, Jones appears to be okay after being knocked unconscious during the incident.

X-Rays came back clear and he was allowed to leave hospital on Saturday evening.

In the meantime, Bradbury expects another tight game at Eastleigh and is calling on his team to be more ruthless in front of goal.

‘I have been pleased with us defensively but we need to score more goals,’ said Bradbury.

‘That doesn’t just apply to the strikers but throughout the whole team.

‘Perry Ryan showed how with his two goals against Salisbury – now some of the others need to get in on the act.

‘We have got players in the team capable of doing better at set-pieces and corners and we have not been clinical enough in these areas.

‘It has been frustrating because, although we have come through our games against the top-four teams with just one defeat, with better finishing we could have won a couple of them.’

On-loan Wycombe Wanderers midfielder Jessie Kewley-Graham has displayed some good quick feet in that area but needs to take greater responsibility in and around the penalty area.

Another key factor has been striker Ollie Palmer’s dip in form since Christmas.

Palmer’s work-rate hasn’t faltered but he has lost his sharpness in front of goal.

Bradbury said: ‘Like any striker who goes through a drought, he has been snapping at his chances.’

‘He just needs to keep working hard and retain his belief.

‘Once he grabs a goal it will open the floodgates.’

The suspended Steve Ramsey is ruled out of tonight’s trip along the M27 following his sending off at Farnborough.

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Strugnall, Harris, Grant, Kewley-Graham, Ryan, Hutchinson, Arthur, Ighorae, Nanetti, Palmer, Kabba, Woodford, Hinshelwood, Pearce