Hawks won’t allow heavy pitches to halt progress

Hawks midfielder Brian Stock.
Hawks midfielder Brian Stock.
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hungry Hawks boss given food for thought

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BRIAN STOCK believes the Hawks won’t allow the heavy winter pitches to derail their National League South title bid.

The Hawks captain insists the squad are capable of adapting their game to overcome the problems.

With the heavy rain in the last week the Westleigh Park pitch is likely to pose problems for Wealdstone’s visit on Saturday (3pm).

The pitch cut up badly in the 0-0 Boxing Day draw against Bognor and is certain to be soft underfoot again.

Experienced midfielder Stock thinks the Hawks can deal with the difficulties.

‘We are heading into the time of the season when pitches generally are heavy,’ said Stock.

‘Our pitch is probably one of the worst.

‘It might not look too bad from the sidelines but when you get out there it is tricky.

‘When I went on as a substitute against Bognor the players were almost scared to receive the ball.

‘You could never be sure you weren’t going to lose your footing.

‘When it is like that it is bound to have a factor on how you play as a team.

‘You have to adapt and that is something I think we can do well.

‘There are times when you have to put the ball in certain areas and play from there to break teams down.

‘The manager will have us well prepared and we will be prepared to mix our game up.’

Stock, who has recently returned from a knee operation, is adamant the Hawks can build on their success over Christmas.

Two wins and a draw, taking seven points from a possible nine, has kept them in the mix at the top.

If Dartford slip up the Hawks have the added incentive of knowing a win can take them to the top.

They also want to improve on their inconsistent home results.

The home side are still hampered by injuries with Mike Carter, Alfie Rutherford, Dan Strugnell and George Barker all still on the treatment table.

There is also a doubt over defender Jordan Rose while Rory Williams is serving the last game of a two-match ban.

That means recent arrival Charley Tuttle should be set for a home debut.

Stock is confident the team can continue to fire with the front players scoring goals and competing well.

‘We have goals in our team,’ added Stock.

‘Jason Prior is strong up front and Matt Tubbs and James Hayter are also scoring goals.

‘Games are coming thick and fast and we must look to maintain our level of performance.

‘We have a good squad here and Christmas showed everyone is doing things right.’

Hawks: Young, Woodford, Harris, Rose, Tuttle, Robinson, Lewis, Fogden, Tarbuck, Prior, Tubbs, Molyneux, Stock, Walker-Harris, Hayter