The Hawks kick-start their 2020/21 season on Saturday when the travel to Ashford United in the Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
In what is arguably one of the ties of the round, it pits second v fourth in last season’s Isthmian League South-East table at Homelands in what promises to be a tricky test for Jude Macdonald’s side.
The hosts have lost a few players from that side, with the likes of Lee Prescott, Ben Wilson and George Purcell departing for pastures new before news broke this week that main striker Jay May had also left.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Hawks will be underestimating the task in hand, with United retaining several of last year’s side and with a few additions will be looking to avenge last season’s result.
Back in November the Hawks prevailed 3-2 at Homelands, with a 95th minute strike from Rhyle Ovenden stealing all three points.
After a goalless first half, Duane Ofori-Acheampong broke the deadlock only for May’s 30-yard strike to draw the hosts level after 55 minutes. Ofori-Acheampong restored the Hawks’ lead, but Tommy Warrilow’s side again fought back through May only for Ovenden’s late effort to send the Hawks home with all the points.
For Whitehawk, they will be looking forward to the first game of what promises to be an exciting season. They have managed to secure the services of a large majority of last season’s side that would have finished in the top six, but also made some improvements in key areas.
The biggest signing has been that of Adam El-Abd, who as well as lining up in the Hawks side will be assisting Macdonald after JP Kissock’s departure, with the experienced former Football League defender forming a strong partnership at the back with Frankie Chappell – another new face having arrived from Lewes.
Kick off is 3pm in Kent, with supporters welcome at Homelands. The winner of the tie will also bag almost £1,500 in prize money.
A reminder to those making the trip to abide by Ashford’s COVID-19 policy; please bring a face mask, which you will have to wear until you are seated for the game.