Hawks ready to tackle familiar foes

The Hawks are set to be boosted by the return of Craig Braham-Barrett Picture: Dave Haines
The Hawks are set to be boosted by the return of Craig Braham-Barrett Picture: Dave Haines
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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 set off on the FA Trophy trail to Wembley with a tricky tie at old rivals Weymouth (3pm).

The Southern premier division hosts will fancy their chances of upsetting the Hawks in the third qualifying round.

Manager Shaun Gale expects his side to be tested to the full and is demanding a professional performance.

Weymouth and the Hawks were fierce rivals a couple of seasons back when they battled it out for Conference South promotion.

Gale expects the home side to come at them all guns blazing tomorrow but feels that could work in the Hawks’ favour.

‘They will want to take our scalp and will come at us from the start,’ said Gale.

‘I wouldn’t expect anything different but, recently, we have looked better defensively.

‘Chris Holland and Sam Pearce were excellent in the heart of our defence at Staines last weekend and we look to have got over our early-season errors.

‘The whole back four, with Lyall Beazley behind them, looked strong.

‘If they attack us it will suit us because we have the pace in our side to hurt them.’

Gale hopes to have winger Craig Braham-Barrett back from injury and regards that as a big plus.

The Hawks will look to use his lightning pace to get around the back and provide the service for Ollie Palmer and Vincent Pericard up front.

Pericard produced an encouraging second-half performance at Staines and looked as though he is finding his feet.

The former Pompey striker held the ball up well and was unlucky to have a late effort disallowed because the referee ordered the quick free-kick to be retaken.

Pericard’s inclusion will increase the Hawks’ physical presence up front.

Young defender Ryan Woodford is also back in the squad after missing last week with illness but Scott Jones is still rated as 50/50 because of a calf strain.

The Hawks are keen to show their knock-out credentials after a disappointing FA Cup campaign – and a win would also boost their coffers financially with £4,000 going to the winners of this tie.

‘It is important for us to do well in the competition, both for the club and financially,’ said Gale.

‘There is also the incentive of a final at Wembley.’

Hawks: Beazley, Newton, Holland, Pearce, McDonald, Hinshelwood, Ryan, Igoe, Ramsey, Braham-Barrett, Palmer, Pericard, Peacock, Whyte, Geteski, Norton, Hopkinson.