Injury worries for King’s Lynn Town ahead of FA Cup encounter
Gary Setchell admits he has been left with no option but to rush Kern Miller back into the King's Lynn Town fold.
The centre-back – who limped out of the Linnets' FA Cup victory over Wroxham a fortnight ago with a hamstring problem – played at Redditch United on Saturday but was rested during Tuesday's Southern League Premier Division 4-2 triumph at home to Histon.
Lynn's boss had hoped to leave the 24-year-old on the sidelines for this afternoon's FA Cup second qualifying round showdown against Witham Town at The Walks.
But with fellow defenders Sam Gaughran (injured) and Matty Castellan (cup tied) unavailable for today's clash, Miller looks likely to be risked, provided he passes a fitness test ahead of kick-off.
Lynn's boss said: 'It was a shot in the hamstring one for Gaughs. He'll definitely be out.
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'I'm hoping Kern will be alright though. I don't think he'll be any worse than what he's been but we had planned on getting him a couple of weeks' rest to get him right. There's no good him keeping playing but it's now a needs must with Matty being cup tied. We'll assess it.
'Bridgo (David Bridges) can play in there, Ryan Fryatt can and Conor Marshall played at right-back a lot for Boston. It's not a crisis and it'll give other lads an opportunity to come in on the bench.'
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Fryatt looks likely to move across into the heart of the back four to partner Miller despite occupying a right-sided position since the recent departures of Jackson Ramm and Ross Watson.
Holding midfielder Marshall comes back into the fold after missing the midweek triumph but his playmaking compatriot Michael Clunan, taken off as a precaution against Histon after suffering a slight hamstring strain, may miss out.
Striker Jake Speight is another injury concern after taking a heavy knock on his knee and being taken off at the interval earlier this week.
'You just don't realise how big the FA Cup is for clubs at our level,' Setchell added ahead of welcoming a team that play one level below them and picked up a Ryman North point at Dereham on Tuesday.
'If you speak to those clubs who have gone out at the first hurdle they're absolutely distraught. I've been and watched Witham. They're not bad and they play a little bit like Histon, they're quick on the counter.
'They'll come and play as I watched them at Sudbury, who were top, and they went looking to win that so I can't imagine they're going to come here and play any different.
'It's a tricky fixture and we'll give them the full respect they deserve.'