Neil Shipperley should have three key players back in the reckoning when North Greenford United host title chasing Rugby Town tomorrow.
United were down to the bare bones and only able to field two on the bench in yesterday’s Boxing Day derby defeat at Northwood – their seventh defeat in the last nine games a run which leaves them still in relegation trouble.
Carlton Stewart, Harry Walker Michael Dart, Liam Hind and Anthony O’Connor were among those missing from Shipperley’s roll call as the men of Berkley Fields went down 3-0.
And while Walker remains on the injured list and Stewart still has one game of his latest suspension to serve, Shipperley is hopeful the other trio will all report for duty.
He said: “Liam was suspended but will be available for Rugby, while Anthony had a few personal problems so could not show up today.
Michael Dart is ill so we are hoping he’ll be fit by Saturday.
The reinforcements cannot come quickly enough for Shipperley, who watched his side have plenty of possession, but create very little against a Woods’ team which showed the ruthlessness they so clearly lacked.
Shipperley was disappointed with the officials over the hosts crucial second goal shortly before half-time, claiming it should never have been allowed to stand, but admitted regardless of that United were second best over the 90 minutes.
He added: “The referee has confused me with what he said about the second goal. He said their striker was behind the ball, but the ball got played forward so he was offside and I can’t understand why that was given.
“The first goal we maybe could have shut the lad down quicker but it was a hell of a finish, so you can’t take that away from the player
“So at 2-0 with us not scoring goals it was pretty inevitable what would follow, but the second half was not good enough.