Whitehawk have handed Dan Harding a new role in their battle against the drop.

The former Albion left-back is playing on the left side of a back three as boss Andy Woodman looks to steady the ship.

That revised set-up secured a first clean sheet in 17 games in midweek when Hawks drew 0-0 at Wealdstone.

Now they face the toughest possible test with a trip to National League south title chasers Maidenhead and their 31-goal hotshot Dave Tarpey.

Woodman is looking to wring every possible point out of his existing squad while adding new faces along the way and believes a three-man defence, helped by wing-backs, suits the personnel available.

Harding, best known as an attack-minded full-back during a career which included Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Reading and Millwall, is a key part of that.

Woodman said: “If we are going to start winning games we have got to be hard to break down and we defended well on Tuesday.

“I played Dan on the left of the three and I thought it suited him.

“He is vocal, he is experienced, he has that knowledge. His days of flying down the wing to get crosses in from the final third are probably behind him but he has a lot to offer as a left-footer on that side of the three.”

Harding joins Ramon Marimon and Chris M’Boungou, both of whom earned high marks from their boss in midweek, at the back.

Christian Scales and Alex Osborn have operated as wing-backs but former Dagenham and Portsmouth man Josh Passley, recently arrived at the Enclosed Ground, is also ideal for the position.

Woodman said: “Josh is coming back from a hamstring problem and is not fully fit but he is definitely suited to the wing-back role.

“I like the system. It’s five at the back when we are defending but we can get five in midfield when we have the ball.

“You’ve got to have athletic wing-backs and the players have got to be willing to do it but I thought a flat back four was asking a bit too much of everybody.”

There will be plenty asked of the Hawks’ defensive set-up tomorrow.

Maidenhead are the division’s top home scorers with 35 goals in 13 games, of which they have won ten and drawn three.

They have yet to draw a blank on their own patch and have netted at least twice on ten occasions.

That record leaves them behind leaders Ebbsfleet on just goals scored but with a game in hand.

The days when Hawks led Maidenhead 1-0 at the Enclosed Ground – and pressed for a second goal – back in August are a long way back but Woodman can see hope for the coming weeks.

He said: “I think we are taking little steps forward. I was happy with the clean sheet and I thought we could have won but we have got to start putting the ball in the back of the net.

“We’ve played the top three in my first five games in charge so it has been a tough ask but, at the same time, it has been a good chance to see what we are all about.

“I’ve got another two or three players coming in.”

Midfielder Tyrique Hyde, signed on a month’s loan from Dagenham, made his debut in midweek with Passley joining the action off the bench.

Brian Howard has left Hawks but defender Paul Reid remains with the club and Sergio Torres is close to returning from injury.