Hawks told to keep their cool at Concord

Josh Huggins. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150553-5)
Josh Huggins. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150553-5)
  • Previous clash with Conference South play-off hopefuls produced two red cards
  • Bradbury keen to see discipline from his troops in crucial encounter
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Lee Bradbury will impress the need for discipline ahead of the Hawks’ Vanarama Conference South visit to Concord Rangers tonight (7.45pm).

When the two sides met at Westleigh Park at the end of January, it proved a poor night for the hosts.

The last time we met I felt we got sucker-punched and we have to learn from that experience

Lee Bradbury

The play-off hopefuls slipped to a 1-0 defeat and ended the game with nine players after Nic Ciardini and Josh Huggins were sent off.

The Hawks cannot afford a repeat of that – particularly after the dismissal of Brian Stock against Ebbsfleet on Saturday – as they look to cement their place in the play-off frame.

Bradbury knows his team will have to be more streetwise on this occasion.

‘We must go there, get on with our game and not allow ourselves to get drawn into anything,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘It is vital we concentrate on the football side of things.

‘The last time we met I felt we got sucker-punched and we have to learn from that experience.

‘We have to go there in a positive frame of mind – prepared to roll our sleeves up and work hard.’

The Hawks travel in confident mood following their excellent 2-0 home win over Ebbsfleet, despite playing most of the second half with ten men.

The dismissal of Stock early in the second half only strengthened their resolve.

Winger Ben Swallow put in another man-of-the-match performance and his second-half goal killed off the Kent side.

It was Stock’s third red card of the season and the Hawks are set to appeal the decision.

Bradbury knows it will be a massive blow if the experienced midfielder is ruled out of the final four games and possibly any play-off involvement.

He said: ‘Since joining Brian has been very influential and we have to wait and see what the FA decide.

‘It is his first straight red card and he is not a malicious player.

‘Hopefully the FA can see through what happened and see sense.

‘It would be a big blow if we lose him for the crucial run-in.’

Meanwhile, Stock must concentrate on helping the Hawks deal with Concord Rangers – who can still force their way into the play-off picture themselves.

The Essex team are seven points behind Bradbury’s troops but do have a game in hand.

‘Concord will see this as a must-win game,’ said the Westleigh Park manager.

‘They are a good team who work hard for each other from start to 
finish. We need a repeat of the professional performance that we produced against Ebbsfleet.

‘We got on the front foot from the start on Saturday and if we do that for 90 minutes not many teams in our league can live with us.’

Shamir Mullings returns to the squad after illness.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Dutton, Harris, Cummings, Stock, Donnelly,. Swallow, Huggins, Wright, Bubb, Woodford, Awford, Hooper, Ciardini, Mullings, Blanchett