Hawks must tough it out at Dover

Striker Ollie Palmer. Picture: Dave Haines
Striker Ollie Palmer. Picture: Dave Haines
Bognor have been unable to make their good play count

Pearce: New striker would make Rocks a top-six team

Have your say

Lee Bradbury is calling for another gutsy away performance from the Hawks as they head to Dover Athletic tomorrow (3pm).

The home side are third in the table and have not been beaten in six matches under recently-appointed manager Chris Kinnear.

The Hawks are on form themselves, though, with just one loss in nine games.

Confidence will have been boosted after their midweek comeback win at home to Bath City.

Manager Bradbury is aware of the size of the task ahead at Dover but will challenge his men to show how much they have improved.

He said: ‘This is a big test and will show us just how far we have come in the past few weeks.

‘We will respect Dover but at the same time can go there with no fear.

‘Our away form is good and we have come away from other tough places with points.

‘At Chelmsford we outplayed the home side and were frustrated to come away with just a point.

‘We have also picked up a good point at Farnborough and should have got something at Welling United.’

Bradbury and assistant manager Shaun Gale have worked hard to get their team better organised.

They are now far more competitive and difficult to beat.

In recent games against Salisbury and Bath the Hawks have shown their mettle by recovering a deficit to secure valuable points.

Earlier in the season, the Westleigh Park side were more likely to capitulate after going behind in games.

Bradbury knows his team can be slow starters, though, and they can’t afford to allow Dover to get ahead.

‘We will have to be at our best and remain focused from start to finish,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘I want to see us produce the same energy levels we showed in the second half against Bath.

‘Hard work will be the key to us getting anything from the game.

‘Away from home we haven’t been conceding a lot and we always have the quality to snatch a goal at the other end.’

Ollie Palmer’s return to form in front of goal will cause the home side some concern.

The striker grabbed a brace against Sutton after penning a new deal with the club.

He then took his tally to 18 for the season with another against Bath.

Palmer will be ably assisted with Christian Nanetti and Chris Arthur providing the trickery and pace down the flanks.

The Hawks are hoping their attacking ability will give Dover plenty to think about.

Wycombe Wanderers loanee Jesse Kewley-Graham hopes to return to the squad after illness.

Striker Scott Jones is expected to be back following his two-week rest after being knocked out against Salisbury City.

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Harris, Strugnell, Grant, Arthur, Ryan, Hutchinson, Ramsey, Nanetti, Palmer, Kabba, Jones, Woodford, Kewley-Graham, Hinshelwood, Ighorae