Hawks suffer Westleigh washout in Bath slip-up

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury   Picture: Paul Jacobs
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury Picture: Paul Jacobs
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The Hawks admitted they were caught out by the weather as they were forced to postpone their Bank Holiday home clash against Bath City yesterday.

With no rain forecast after Boxing Day, the Hawks decided not to use their covers to protect their pitch.

Overnight and early Sunday morning rain, however, took everyone by surprise and made the already soft Westleigh Park pitch unplayable.

‘There was no rain forecast, so we didn’t cover the pitch,’ said Hawks secretary Trevor Brock.

‘We got local referee Andy Laver in at 8.30am and he spent five minutes looking at the pitch.

‘He then spoke to the match referee on the phone who called the game off on his information.

‘It is unfortunate but one of those things.

‘We have still got a bit of work to do to get the pitch playable for Saturday.

‘But we have a couple of nice days forecast before the rains are due to return on Thursday and Friday.

‘We will get the covers on before then.’

The postponement means the Hawks will start the new year in the bottom three of the National League South.

It is not a position anyone imagined at the start of the season, with the side aiming to at least emulate last season’s play-off place.

Manager Lee Bradbury will admit it has been a difficult first half to the campaign, with his team struggling to find any consistency.

Defensively, they have been very poor – possessing the worst goals-against record in the league.

Bradbury was frustrated to lose the chance to end the year on a winning note.

He also wanted the opportunity for his team to bounce back quickly from the defeat at Gosport Borough.

‘It means we get a longer break before the return against Gosport but I would rather we played,’ said Bradbury.

‘I would rather be going up against Gosport with three points under our belt.

‘The referee, however, ruled areas of our pitch as dangerous and wouldn’t let it go ahead.

‘We still have a lot of hard work to do but have been playing better recently.

‘If we keep playing the way we have in our last three games I am confident we will soon start climbing the league.’

Bradbury accepted that the ambitions held at the start of the season are probably beyond them.

He admitted the chances of making the play-offs are now remote.

‘In reality the chances of us making the play-offs are now very slim,’ added Bradbury.

‘All the time it is mathematically possible we won’t be giving up on it, but it will be tough.

‘Our aim must be to climb as high up the league as we can.

‘We certainly don’t want to be going into the final games of the season needing to win.’