Bradbury: Hawks remain focused ahead of FA Cup clash

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Pompey fans enjoyed a 2-1 win on their last visit to the Memorial Stadium. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Lee Bradbury believes the Hawks must be on their mettle for their FA Cup third qualifying round tie at Hayes & Yeading tomorrow (3pm).

The Westleigh Park boss and his assistant Shaun Gale made a scouting trip to the SkyEx Community Stadium to watch their opponents draw 2-2 with Moneyfields in Southern League east division on Tuesday.

Though Hayes & Yeading play two levels below the Hawks, Bradbury believes they have the potential of causing an upset given the attacking prowess they possess.

He insisted his troops must remain focused if they are to progress into the next round.

Bradbury said: ‘We can’t afford to take Hayes lightly even though they play two levels below us.

‘Their front line is very quick and they have a number of players who should be playing at our level.

‘They have scored a lot of goals this season so they are potentially very dangerous opponents.

‘In the first half against Moneyfields, they looked like they would score every time they went forward.

‘They are young and enthusiastic and work hard with a lot of pace.

‘We need to be mindful of their ability to quickly launch counter-attacks.

‘That is something we struggled to deal with in our last game.’

Bradbury is hoping the Hawk have learned a few lessons from their 3-2 defeat at Welling United in National League South last weekend.

The Wings were another counter-attacking team and they exposed the visitors’ defence on both flanks.

The Hawks will need to be a lot tighter and organised at the back if they are to stay in the FA Cup.

However, they can take some confidence from their decent away record so far this season.

Bradbury’s side have only been beaten once on their travels and, more often than not, they have also kept a clean sheet.

In a cup tie, Bradbury believes it is a question of getting the balance 
right.

‘We are going there to win the game,’ the Hawks boss added.

‘At the same time, we have to keep one eye on the danger they can pose.

‘Hayes have not lost at home this season and are unbeaten since August.

‘They also have a tendency to be quick out of the blocks, so we have to set up to deal with that.

‘We want to avoid giving them any early encouragement.

‘It is a tricky game and one in which we have to make sure that we track their runners.’

Mike Carter is unavailable for the Hawks, while Theo Widdrington is cup-tied and George Barker is out injured.

However, Lee Molyneux returns to the squad after work commitments.

HAWKS: Young, Robinson, Rose, Woodford, Harris, Williams, Fogden, Lewis, Stock, Tarbuck, Prior, Tubbs, Rutherford, Molyneux, Hayter, Walker-Harris, Strugnell