Hawks want trophy but must keep players fit

Lewis Noice. Picture: Neil Marshall (171033-118)

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HAWKS manager Lee Bradbury is considering carefully how to approach Wednesday night’s showcase Hampshire Senior Cup final.

He has to decide whether to risk all his first team players against Wessex Premier opponents Blackfield & Langley in the match which will be played at St Mary’s Stadium (7.45pm).

Bradbury wants to see the Hawks lift the trophy but at the same time has more serious matters to contend with.

The last thing the National League South title chasers need is to lose influential players to injury as they continue their bid to finish as league champions.

With just three games left it is so close in the race for glory at the top of the table.

The Hawks and Dartford are locked together equal on points.

The Kent side, however, head the table on goal difference by the narrowest of margins and they won again at the weekend to keep in front of the Hawks who beat St Albans City.

Just one goal separates the two sides heading into the final week.

Whatever side he puts out Bradbury believes it will still possess the quality to win the cup.

At the same time he admits he may need to be tactical in his approach.

He said: ‘We want to win it but ultimately want to keep players fit and available for the league games.

‘Winning the league has to be the priority.

‘We will field a competitive side including first team players.

‘One thing we won’t do is disrespect the competition but at the same time I will have to rotate my squad.

‘I won’t be taking any unnecessary risks with some players.

‘Ideally we probably wouldn’t want this game at this stage.

‘Blackfield are top of their league for a reason and will give us a good test.

‘Their manager has done a good job and got them playing some good football.

‘They will be well up for it and as a Southampton-based team will be well supported.

‘It is important we get well supported too.

‘The big pitch will suit us and allow us to go out and play football.’

Central-defender Ed Harris is not likely to play.

Harris landed awkwardly on his back and had to be replaced early in the second half against St Albans.

His absence could see Lee Molyneaux recalled at the back.

Bradbury may also give goalkeeper Ryan Young a break and give young Ben Dudzinski his chance.