Rutherford centre stage for Hamlet clash

Alfie Rutherford is back to boost Hawks
Alfie Rutherford is back to boost Hawks
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hungry Hawks boss given food for thought

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THE HAWKS have Alfie Rutherford back in the squad as they welcome Dulwich Hamlet to Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

Lee Bradbury’s side need to win if they are to maintain the pressure on league-leaders Bognor in the race for Ryman League premier division title glory.

The Rocks hold a four-point lead going into the final five games of the season.

Dulwich, however, pose a huge threat to the Hawks ambitions as they look to complete a league double over their hosts.

It is less than a fortnight since Hamlet inflicted a damaging 3-0 defeat on the Hawks at Champion Hill.

With so much still at stake for both teams it is likely to be a tense, close hard-fought affair.

The home side are boosted by the news that young striker Rutherford is back in contention.

The talented former Rocks man came through a fitness test and Bradbury welcomes his timely return.

‘Having Alfie back is a huge plus,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘We have missed his enthusiasm and youthful energy up top.

‘He has shown he is one player who can create a goal out of nothing.

‘His pace and willingness to run at defenders can cause opponents all sorts of problems.

‘Being young has helped him recover a lot quicker than we expected.

‘I had someone lined up to come in but now Alfie is back I don’t need to go ahead with it.’

Bradbury is looking for the Hawks to continue where they left off in the second half against Harrow Borough in midweek.

Trailing 1-0 at the break the Hawks produced a sparkling second-half display to run out 3-1 winners.

Dulwich, though, are likely to be a tougher nut to crack.

The south London side are a big, physical, powerful unit but also have plenty of players who can pass it well.

They will be confident after an excellent win at Billericay.

‘It is another game we need to win to keep turning the screw on Bognor,’ said Bradbury.

‘We showed great determination to do that in the win against Harrow.

‘In the second half they couldn’t cope with our pace and imaginative running off the ball. We created good opportunities and took them well.

‘In our situation we must look to win all our remaining games.’

Rory Williams is proving a revelation down the left flank this season, while the return of Dan Strugnell on the other flank has also added to the Hawks creativity.

George Barker and Ben Swallow can also do damage in wide areas.

Matt Paterson, Andreas Robinson and Bradley Tarbuck are not expected back from injury just yet.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Woodford, Rose, Harris, Williams, Stock, Lewis, Fogden, Rutherford, Prior, Hayter, Molyneaux, Swallow, Barker