Hawks need to sharpen up to achieve goals

JJ Hooper. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150209-374)
JJ Hooper. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150209-374)
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Lee Bradbury is calling on the Hawks to sharpen up their attacking play ahead of their Vanarama Conference South trip to Eastbourne Borough tomorrow (3pm).

The Hawks have scored just once in their past four games and the lack of goals is threatening to derail their play-off bid.

Bradbury insists, however, that it is a team responsibility and not just a burden for the strikers to carry.

He knows they need to make more of their chances.

‘We have been a bit off in a number of areas,’ said Bradbury.

‘It is important we start scoring more goals and that goes for all the team.

‘Everyone has to be prepared to contribute, the strikers, midfielders and defenders going up for set-pieces.

‘We have not been making the most of our chances and that has been frustrating.

‘In our past two games we should have scored a lot more considering the number of chances we created. We can’t afford to keep missing out.’

Bradbury thinks being away from home can work to the Hawks’ advantage.

With the onus on the home team to attack he believes that will open up greater space and freedom for his forward players to exploit.

That is a luxury the Hawks have found hard to come by at Westleigh Park.

Teams have come and shut up shop against Bradbury’s side, making themselves difficult to break down.

As a result, the boss has been left bemoaning poor decision making in the final third from his team.

‘Our decision making in the final third needs to be a lot sharper,’ said Bradbury.

‘We keep getting ourselves into excellent positions but then fail to deliver.

‘I don’t think we have been getting the rub of the green either because we have hit the woodwork and had a number of efforts scrambled off the goal-line.’

Bradbury will have been encouraged by the debut of AFC Bournemouth loanee Harry Cornick against St Albans.

The 19-year-old made a positive start.

He looked bright, showing he has the pace to get away from defenders to pose an attacking threat.

If he and Ben Swallow, on the other wing, are allowed freedom they will be capable of doing damage.

They have the ability to make it a tough afternoon for the Eastbourne defence.

Bradbury has to decide whether to continue with strike-pair Ben Wright and JJ Hooper, or whether to change things again.

Hooper missed an excellent chance in the opening minute of the 0-0 draw against Saints.

His performance was disappointing and Bradley Bubb could replace him.

The visitors are still without suspended pair Nic Ciardini and Josh Huggins.

However, Bradbury is confident the team will be ready for tomorrow’s clash and are not far away from where they need to be to secure regular wins in the league.

‘The last few games have been frustrating but we have to remain patient and maintain our belief,’ added Bradbury.

‘We need to put in that extra three to four per cent needed to score the goals and claim the wins.’

HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Harris, Dutton, Cummings, Donnelly, Stock, Swallow, Cornick, Wright, Bubb, Blanchett, Ryan, Hooper, Mullings, Connell