Hawks midfielder eyes green light in chase for glory

Nic Ciardini, right, in action. Picture: Dave Haines
Nic Ciardini, right, in action. Picture: Dave Haines
Dan Wooden. Picture: Neil Marshall (170104-04)

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Nic Ciardini is hoping the Hawks can beat the weather and get the go-ahead for tonight’s Skrill South game against Bishop’s Stortford at Westleigh Park (7.45pm).

The Hawks squad had to make do with training at the weekend after their home clash against Maidenhead United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

With little improvement in the weather since then, the Hawks face a race against time to get the pitch fit.

Ciardini scored twice in the recent 3-0 Hampshire Senior Cup win over his old club Farnborough.

And the attacking midfielder is itching to get back out on the pitch and add to his tally.

‘We just want to get out there playing,’ he said.

‘The groundstaff could not be doing any more.

‘They are spending long hours on the pitch but the weather has beaten them.

‘I have set myself a goal target for the season and I am about halfway there.

‘It was good to get a couple in my last game – after coming back in from suspension.

‘There is a lot of competition for places in our midfield and that means we have to keep performing if we want to stay in the side. And that is how it should be.

‘We have gone 11 games unbeaten and the last thing we want is to keep having games called off.

‘With some of the other teams managing to play it means we have fallen behind in our fixtures.

‘In some cases we have four or five games in hand and have to play catch up on some of the teams.

‘That means when we do get playing again it will be important to pick up maximum points to make up the ground.

‘If we win all our games in hand it could take us up as high as fourth – it is that crazy.’

Ciardini recognises it is a big week for the club – ending with the massively important FA Trophy quarter-final against Skrill Premier side Aldershot Town on Saturday.

A four-figure crowd is anticipated at Westleigh Park as the Hawks look to take a step closer to their Wembley dream.

If they can cause an upset they will be just a two-legged semi-final away from achieving the home of football.

‘It is a great opportunity and every player dreams of playing at Wembley,’ said Ciardini.

‘We will be the underdogs but we always feel we have a chance against anyone at home.

‘Hopefully we can go out there and show what we are made of.’

Before then the Hawks are focusing on picking up league points in a revenge mission against high-flying Bishop’s Stortford, though.

Earlier in the season they conceded two very late goals in a 2-1 defeat after looking comfortable for most of the game.

‘We feel a bit as if we owe them one after that,’ said Ciardini.

‘The incentive is there to keep our long unbeaten run going.’

HAWKS: Bevan, Strugnell, Harris, Monteiro, Blanchett, Ciardini, Ryan, Atangana, Kabba, Oli, Nanetti, Jones, Przespolewski, Newton, Woodford, Cummings, Donnelly, Hutchinson, Ramsey