Paterson confident of Hawks Cup upset

Hawks striker Matt Paterson Picture: Allan Hutchings
Hawks striker Matt Paterson Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Leading goalscorer Matt Paterson reckons the Hawks are capable of causing an upset in tonight’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay at Cheltenham Town (7.45pm).

The striker grabbed the late equaliser in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Westleigh Park.

The Conference National hosts will start as firm favourites to play Hartlepool United in the first round proper, but the Hawks proved in the first game they won’t be easy to beat. And Paterson believes the team spirit in the squad will stand them in good stead.

‘We worked tirelessly in the first game and thoroughly deserved to get the replay,’ said Paterson.

‘It was a typical FA Cup game and I thought we were unlucky to go in behind at the break.

‘Fair play to the boys, we went on and got the equaliser and hung on.

‘You can’t question the spirit in the squad because we have all been working hard all season.

‘We just have to keep doing it.

‘I don’t see after that performance why we can’t go there and get a result.

‘It will be a case of going there with the same attitude and being prepared to take them on.

‘We have already showed that we have the ability to get at Cheltenham and cause them problems.

‘The pressure will be on them because they will be at home.’

Paterson has refused to allow recent transfer speculation to distract him from his game.

Gosport Borough came in with a bid of £7,500 to try and attract the striker back to Privett Park.

The Hawks believed it was an attempt by their local rivals to try to unsettle the player.

It was insinuated that Paterson was unhappy at the Hawks and would love to return to Borough.

However, the front man insists nothing is further than the truth.

‘I am very happy with the Hawks,’ said Paterson.

‘Since arriving here I have been working hard to improve my game.

‘The gaffer has been brilliant, always prepared to put on extra sessions for those who can make it.

‘I came in and put in an extra two hours on my shooting in midweek and it paid off.

‘It benefits me at the end of the day.’

Paterson has been one of the leading lights this season for the Hawks, with his consistently-high work-rate making him one of the fans’ favourites.

At times he has found himself isolated up front but at no point has his efforts flagged.

His goal against Cheltenham also showed what a good finisher he can be and was just reward for another grafting performance.

Manager Lee Bradbury rated his side’s display against Cheltenham as the best yet this season.

He was delighted to see his team go toe-to-toe against a team who are flying in the league above them.

The midfield put in a terrific shift and Ben Swallow on the flank showed some of his old enthusiasm for taking defenders on.

Bradbury is likely to name an unchanged squad

Hawks: Young, Blanchett, Davies, Strugnell, Dutton, Stock, Donnelly, Azzeez, Swallow, Clifton, Paterson, Hayter, Mullings, Morgan, Monthe, Searle C, Medway, Thomson, Cummings