Hovering Hawks ready to swoop

Hawks midfielder Perry Ryan Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks midfielder Perry Ryan Picture: Dave Haines
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Miserly Hawks head for Staines Town tonight bidding for a fifth consecutive clean sheet and a place in the top five of Skrill South (7.45pm).

A win will see Lee Bradbury’s side leapfrog over Dover into the play-off places, with games still in hand over their closest rivals.

First, however, they will have to turn the tables on a home side who, only a fortnight ago, won 2-0 at Westleigh Park.

On that occasion the Hawks looked tired, playing their seventh game in the space of 15 days.

Since then, Bradbury’s troops have managed to re-energise – apart from a 4-3 blip against Dover – and have not conceded a single goal in their past five games.

The manager will be happy to see his team continue to grind out results.

‘We have three more important games this week and the aim is not to get beaten,’ said Bradbury.

‘If we can do that then we will continue to pick points up.

‘Then we have five consecutive home games, so it will be nice to go into those with our unbeaten run intact.

‘There is a determination in the squad not to get beaten and the players have remained completey focused.

‘Against Chelmsford on Saturday they again showed they are prepared to put their bodies on the line.

‘The defending has been first class and the substitutes who went on in the closing stages also had a positive impact.’

Bradbury’s ploy of rotating his squad, with up to four or five changes to his starting line-up on some occasions, is paying dividends.

When players get their turn they return to the action looking fresh and hungry.

Another feature has been the willingness of the team to get back and help out in defence.

In recent games Christian Nanetti has been like a little terrier, racing back to hound the opposition midfield, harrying and harrassing them at every turn.

Scott Donnelly is going from strength to strength with every game, looking more and more like the attacking schemer he can be.

Against Staines tonight, Bradbury has the option of bringing back his other ‘dog of war’ in midfielder Perry Ryan after he completed a two-match ban.

Another boost was the return of experienced central defender Ed Harris as a substitute in the closing stages against Chelmsford.

It was feared Harris might not play again this season after getting injured against Gosport Borough in the FA Trophy semi-final.

Harris, though, has battled back and his experience could prove a key factor in the closing weeks.

He looks ready to slot in alongside Ryan Woodford, who is in the form of his life, in the heart of the defence.

‘When we lost to Staines it was one of the few times we have looked tired and leggy,’ said Bradbury.

‘Since then we have picked up and we will be looking to go and win this game.

‘It won’t be easy because they had a good win at Weston at the weekend.’

Hawks: Buchel, Newton, Woodford, Strugnell, Harris, Monteiro, Blanchett, Ryan, Atangana, Donnelly, Nanetti, Oli, Kabba, Jones, Przespolewski, Paterson, Bassele, Hutchinson, Ramsey, Cummings