Isthmian League

Preview: Broadbridge Heath

Having been unveiled as Whitehawk manager on Sunday evening following the 3-0 defeat to Cray Wanderers in the FA Trophy, Ross Standen will take charge of his first match for the Hawks as they make the short trip to Horsham this evening to take on Broadbridge Heath in the Second Round of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.

Standen, who has over 400 appearances for the Hawks as a goalkeeper, arrives at the club after having most recently been assistant manager at Isthmian Premier League side Horsham. In a recent interview with The Argus, Standen expressed his delight at being given this new challenge: “I am very excited to get going…I did not expect to get another manager’s job so it was just too good an opportunity to turn down.”

In addition, Standen also spoke of what he wishes to achieve at the club; “For me to start with it is about winning games, moving up the table and getting the confidence back amongst the squad, which comes from winning matches.” A victory tonight might just be what the Hawks need following a tough start to the season, but the new manager is clearly eager to make an impression, as he further added how “we cannot wait to get started.”

As Standen comes to grips with his new squad, it is possible that a blend of experience and youth could be used tonight against lower league opposition. Ollie Munt and Sam Wright both found themselves on the first-team bench on Saturday, and will be knocking on the door as they push for a starting place. Ronald Sobowale will be hoping to return to the Starting XI as he still awaits his first goal for the club, and tonight might just be the night for him to ignite his Hawks’ career.

The Hawks currently sit 16th in the Isthmian League – South East Division, having collected 5 points from their opening six matches. A difficult start to the season who, with a lockdown looming, will be looking to head into the impromptu break on the back of a win tonight as they entertain Southern Combination Football League side Broadbridge Heath.

The hosts currently occupy 17th place in the SCFL Premier Division, one division below the Hawks. It has not gone entirely to plan for today’s opposition, as the Horsham-based club have won three of their opening ten league games. Following three successive league defeats, ‘The Bears’ were victorious last time out as they recorded a 2-0 win against Langley Wanderers, courtesy of goals from Jamie Taylor and Lewis Croal, the latter of which has already found the net on thirteen occasions in all competitions this season, making him one to certainly keep an eye on.

With Whitehawk having received a bye in the first round, The Bears comfortably saw off AFC Uckfield Town by a 4-1 score line to reach this stage of the competition. With a month long break imminent, Ross Standen will be hoping for a win to put his new side in good stead before the season is temporarily halted.

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