Hawks will have away record tested

Brian Stock. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170062-1)
Brian Stock. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170062-1)
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LEE BRADBURY is looking for the Hawks to defend their proud away record as they journey to take on Harlow Town in the Ryman League premier division at the Harlow Arena (3pm).

The team have lost only twice on their travels so far this season and just once since the opening day of the campaign.

Bradbury’s side have been less than impressive at home, though one of the most convincing performances was their 5-2 win against Harlow at Westleigh Park.

The Essex side, however, are in good form with four successive wins under their belt.

They have also won 12 games at home, more than any other team in the league.

Bradbury believes the stage is set for a close battle.

He said: ‘We are under no illusions as to how tough this game will be.

‘Only a couple of teams have won here so far this season and their 3G pitch is not the easiest to play on.

‘They are also the form team in our league at the moment.

‘This is a real test for us against another big physical strong side.

‘All the time our home form is indifferent though we need to keep getting results in the away games.’

The key to the Hawks away successes this season has been their ability to start on the front foot and take control of matches.

Very often an early goal has given Bradbury’s team the initiative to go on and win the game.

He will be looking again for his team to race out of the blocks and maybe take the hosts by surprise.

The visitors are unlikely to have captain Brian Stock available, however, because of injury.

He has damaged his Achilles tendon and aggravated it further warming up before the Billericay game.

It is more than touch and go that he won’t make it in time for this weekend.

Fellow midfielder Mike Carter has a dead-leg and hasn’t trained but is expected to be fit.

One of the few positives of the home defeat by Billericay was the return of Jason Prior to the goal trail.

Prior was the scourge of Harlow earlier in the season scoring four goals against them.

Bradbury thinks it could be a timely return to form by his striker.

‘That goal, which was a neat finish, will give a boost to Jason’s confidence,’ said Bradbury.

‘It had been a good while since he scored last.

‘He is now fully over his illness and getting back to what he was like at the start of the season.

‘A fully fit Prior will have a big say on how the rest of the season goes for us.

‘It is tight at the top and there are a lot of twists and turns still to come.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Molyneaux, Woodford, Harris, Williams, Carter, Lewis, Robinson, Tarbuck, Prior, Rutherford, Paterson, Hayter, Fogden, Barker