Injury crisis deepens for Paulton Rovers' Nick Bunyard
Nick Bunyard could be missing as many as eight players for Paulton Rovers' FA Trophy match at Didcot Town on Saturday (3pm).
Despite not having played for more than a week, Rovers still have a lengthy injury list, forcing Bunyard to recall youngsters Paddy Doyle and Ryan Gay from loan spells at Welton Rovers.
He is also hopeful of bringing in at least one new face but the deal may not be completed by the weekend.
"We've got two or three players that I'm trying to get on board and there's an outside chance that I might have one of them for Saturday," said Bunyard.
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"We've had three sessions since the Poole game last Tuesday and there'll be another one tonight. We've had a chance to work on some fitness and go through a few things on the training field.
"We've got an extensive injury list so it's been a good chance for some of the lads to rest and get some treatment.
"We've had some injury and availability blows though – Jack Allward has broken his arm, so he'll be out for a minimum of six weeks, and Sean Seavill has had to go to Australia with work.
"Stuart Tovey, Dan Cleverley and Ben Lacey are all receiving treatment and are doubtful for Saturday. James Billing is suspended, Nick McCootie is on holiday and Lee Collier is out with an eye injury."
Rovers have endured a tough start to the season, with one win and three defeats in Evo-Stik League Southern Division 1 South & West, as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup in a replay.
Bunyard insists that form will pick up and hopes that victory in Saturday's Trophy preliminary round tie will spark a more consistent run.
"We've certainly played well in spells," he said. "The Tiverton game was a good result and we absolutely battered Taunton in the FA Cup but could only draw.
"Once we've got a near full-strength squad back, I'm not too worried as I know results will pick up. Once we get one positive result, I'm sure more will follow.
"Didcot have started reasonably well and have had some good results. They have always been a team I've rated and it's a tough place to go.
"It's another challenging game but every game against a team in our division is going to be difficult.
"Having been knocked out of the FA Cup, it would be nice to have a run in the FA Trophy."
More football on pages 62&63.