Hawks want top spot with win at Tonbridge

Jason Prior is looking back to his best
Jason Prior is looking back to his best
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THE HAWKS have top spot in their sights as they travel to fellow title-chasing rivals Tonbridge Angels for an important Ryman League premier division clash tonight (7.45pm).

A win over the Kent side will see the Hawks leapfrog ahead of Bognor into pole position.

Lee Bradbury insists his side are in confident mood.

‘We are going there looking to win the game,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘It is an opportunity for us to go to the top and that is where we want to be. There is a confident mood in the camp because we have won eight of our last 10 games.

‘Our away record is also the best in the league. We are under no illusions, though, that it is going to be anything other than tough.

‘Tonbridge are also on a good run of form and at home they get good crowds which get right behind them.

‘We have to make sure they don’t get anything to shout about.

‘They have good experience in their team with a big front man and a couple of pacy wingers.

‘It is something we have to make sure we are ready to deal with.

‘We will have to make sure we defend properly, but that is something we have done well recently.

‘Once again I expect players to be prepared to put their bodies on the line for each other.

‘All our players showed those qualities against Merstham defending from front to back.’

Bradbury will also be boosted by the quality of the performance against Merstham.

Striker Jason Prior showed he is back to his best. His physicality caused Merstham problems all game and apart from scoring twice he also created the opening goal.

Midfielder Mike Carter is also growing in influence after making the move from Gosport Borough.

Against Merstham he showed just what an effective player he can be.

Carter continually broke up the visitors’ attacks with well his well-timed tackles and constant harrying.

If the Hawks are to upset Tonbridge then he will need to produce more of the same.

Apart from striker Matt Paterson, who is ruled out by hamstring problems, Bradbury has a full strength squad to choose from.

The Hawks boss knows his team need to get on the front foot early on.

‘We have tended to grab the initiative in our away games and we must look to do the same again,’ added Bradbury.

‘Going into the business end of the season we must look to keep that up.

‘We won’t be going there to sit in and my mentality is always to look for a win.

‘At the end of the season we certainly don’t want to be looking back with any regrets.’

HAWKS: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Harris, Williams, Stock, Lewis, Carter, Prior, Rutherford, Tarbuck, Molyneaux, Fogden, Swallow, Hayter, Molyneaux, Barker