Hawks wait on Nanetti

Hawks wing ace Christian Nanetti Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks wing ace Christian Nanetti Picture: Dave Haines
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The Hawks face a race against time to get Christian Nanetti fit for tomorrow’s FA Trophy tie at Basingstoke Town (3pm).

Nanetti is suffering with a hamstring problem but manager Lee Bradbury is optimistic he can recover in time.

The wing ace was a key figure in the 2-1 win at Sutton in the last round of the competition and his absence would be a big blow to the Hawks’ Trophy ambitions.

He terrorised the Sutton defence with his pace and close ball control and will be expected to cause Basingstoke similar problems.

However, the Italian-born trickster limped off against Bromley last weekend and missed the midweek win over Chelmsford City.

‘Christian is a massive player for us and our medical guys are working hard to get him fit,’ said Bradbury.

‘At the moment, he can’t seem to get through a game without feeling his hamstrings.

‘He has moved down into the area so that he can train four times a week but hasn’t had much luck.

‘A couple of niggling injuries have held him back.

‘On his day, though, he is almost unplayable, as he showed at Sutton, and we need to get him back fit as quickly as possible.

‘He is a key player for us.’

The Hawks already boast a 4-1 home league win over the Dragons this season but Bradbury knows that will count for little in the tie.

Since losing at Westleigh Park, the Dragons have won five of their past six games.

They will also be keen to prove a point against their visitors from down the road and repay them for that earlier defeat.

It is another tough away tie for the Hawks, but Bradbury’s men showed in the last round that they are capable of coming away with another win.

‘We will have to make sure that we are at 100 per cent and work hard from the first whistle,’ said Bradbury.

‘It is a good opportunity because we believe we are capable of going there and getting a result.

‘Basingstoke will feel they have a point to prove and we find ourselves in a role-reversal from our game in the last round.

‘Then, it was us who had a point to prove and did just that.

‘This will be just as tough but if we play our game then we can do it.’

Bradbury will have to do without recently-arrived defender Warren Cummings who is cup-tied after his stint at Poole Town.

The manager is hoping full-back Dan Blanchett will be fit to replace him but, if not, he also has the option of using Nic Ciardini – as he did in the last round.

At the back, Bradbury is likely to stick with his experienced central-defensive pairing of Ed Harris and Pedro Monteiro.

Hawks: Bevan, Newton, Harris, Monteiro, Blanchett, Ciardini, Atangana, Ryan, Kabba, Oli, Nanetti, Jones, Kewley-Graham, Woodford, Strugnell, Przespolewski, Ramsey