Stock’s ban rocks Hawks’ play-off ambitions

Brian Stock. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150128-689)
Brian Stock. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150128-689)
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The Hawks’ Vanarama Conference South play-off ambitions have been rocked by a five-game ban imposed on star midfielder Brian Stock.

The former Welsh international was sent off for the third time this season in the 2-0 win over Ebbsfleet United last weekend.

The ban rules Stock out for the final four games of the season and the first leg of the play-off semi-final, should Hawks get there.

It is a huge body blow for Lee Bradbury’s squad because Stock has proved a major player for them since arriving in September.

Bradbury, who decided not to appeal against the midfielder’s red card, admits the absence of Stock will make achieving a play-off place that much harder.

Hawks’ ambitions were further dented on Tuesday night when they lost 3-2 to Concord Rangers.

‘It is a massive blow for us but one we will have to get on and deal with,’ said manager Bradbury.

‘Brian was playing Championship football with Burnley this time last year so he is bound to be a big miss.

‘His experience and his quality have been invaluable to us and we were lucky that he fell into our lap after relocating his family down south.

‘His absence gives us a big gap to fill and it won’t be easy.

‘I know Brian is gutted that having made such a big contribution all season he is now going to miss out at a crucial time.

‘We have already brought Nick Awford to the club recently and Perry Ryan is already with us.

‘I may need to bring someone else in, though, but we will have to wait and see.’

Bradbury won’t be able to wait long, though, because the transfer deadline closes later today.