Stock blow for Hawks

Brian Stock is suspended for the Hawks' trip to Truro Picture: Paul Jacobs
Brian Stock is suspended for the Hawks' trip to Truro Picture: Paul Jacobs
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hungry Hawks boss given food for thought

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The Hawks are without Brian Stock as they go in search of vital Vanarama National League South points at Truro City tomorrow (3pm).

The captain is serving a one-match ban after picking up five bookings.

It is a major blow for the visitors who are looking to end a run of three successive defeats in the league.

Cup victories over AFC Bournemouth and Larkhall Athletic have boosted the confidence of Lee Bradbury’s side but they need to start picking up points.

Their disappointing start to the season has left them in 14th place and Bradbury insists they need to start climbing the table.

The Hawks are also still seeking their first away win of the season.

It won’t be easy without Stock, who proved the main midfield playmaker in the cup games.

‘This is a game we need to come back with something from,’ said Bradbury.

‘Truro are a big, strong, physical, hard-working side and we will need to be at our game.

‘They will be hard to beat and we will need to put in a performance.

‘It has been a frustrating season for us so far but the last couple of cup games won’t have done us any harm.

‘That should give us the confidence to go out and get a result.’

Luckily for the Hawks, Pompey loanee Rommy Boco is available to come back into the squad after his parent club refused to release him for the FA Cup.

In his games so far, the Benin international has shown himself to be an assured performer who reads the game well.

The only thing he has lacked is match fitness, but Romo has got stronger every game he has played.

Bradbury said: ‘Losing Brian Stock is a big blow but having Rommy back will give us a lift.

‘Rommy has played at a good level and his experience shows through.

‘Since he has been with us I have been very impressed.’

The Hawks will also include other Fratton Park loanee, Calvin Davies, who made an impressive debut in the Cup replay against Larkhall.

The young full-back displayed plenty of energy and skill on the ball.

At times he showed his inexperience but looks a great addition to Bradbury’s squad.

Meanwhile, Manny Monthe returns to the centre of defence after serving a one-match ban.

The game represents a 440-mile round trip to Cornwall and back – and Bradbury is making sure the Hawks prepare for it properly.

‘We are trying to do it right and thanks to the chairman we are able to go down tonight,’ he said.

‘At the same time we are able to make use of Exeter City’s training ground.

‘It is a long way to go to come back empty-handed.

‘We want to start moving up the league.

‘In the last few games we have been scoring lots of goals we just need to be a bit stronger defensively.’

Hawks: Young, Davies, Strugnell, Monthe, Blanchett, Donnelly, Boco, Swallow, Paterson, Hayter, Azeez, Cummings, Clifton, Morgan, Thomson, Mullings, Monteiro