Lowestoft hampered by a spate of injuries
Lowestoft Town director of football Craig Fleming admitted his squad is being stretched by injuries ahead of the Blues' Ryman League clash against Canvey Island this evening.
Trawlerboys' man-of-the-moment Lubo Guentchev is out with an infection and won't be back until the problem has been properly diagnosed, while Erkan Okay sustained a calf injury during the warm-up before Lowestoft's 3-0 FA Cup win against Hemel Hempstead on Saturday.
The Blues' reward is a home tie against Conference South Chelmsford at Crown Meadow on Saturday, October 15. The Clarets booked their place in the third qualifying round with a 3-0 home win over Tonbridge.
Fleming revealed Dale Cockrill has also suffered a hamstring strain and won't be risked this evening, while defender Greg Crane is still trying to shrug off an ankle complaint which has hampered his season so far.
'We are resembling the walking wounded at the moment, we've not had a lot of luck in that respect,' he said. 'But this is why you carry a squad and fortunately we've got a lot of quality that can come in.'
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While Lowestoft top the Ryman League Premier, Canvey have also established themselves as one of the front-runners in the division although Fleming insisted it is far too early to read too much into the result.
'It's very early days still and teams are taking points off each other right through the league,' he added. 'We are going to want to win it obviously regardless of who we are playing. It's just another three points at stake.'
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Perhaps the main positive to come out of Saturday's win in the FA Cup against Hemel Hempstead was the sight of Joe Francis putting away a penalty after the Blues' wretched run from the 12 yards recently.
'We went through a phase when we just didn't miss and then we couldn't score one for love nor money – that's just football for you though isn't it?' added Fleming.
'You go through periods like that when you miss a couple and it becomes a bit of an issue. But fair play to Joe, he took on the responsibility and stuck it away well.'
Meanwhile, Blues' legend Jamie Godbold has joined Ridgeons Premier Division neighbours Gorleston on a three month loan deal.
Blues' join boss Micky Chapman believes the short term stint is the right move for both parties.
'Jamie needs to play games and it was decided that a loan deal was right, and to keep him fit and in good shape,' he said, on the club's official site. 'We have a big squad and Jamie needs to keep up his match fitness.
'He trained really hard over the summer and has come back fitter. Jamie is still a Lowestoft Town player.'