Lowestoft Town ready to risk keeper Jones during friendly at King’s Lynn Town
- Credit: Archant
Lowestoft Town director of football Craig Fleming admits he may be forced to sign another goalkeeper if Ashlee Jones fails to shrug off a shoulder injury.
The former Canvey Island stopper, who signed a new deal with the Blues this summer, has not been in action since hurting his shoulder in the friendly against Needham Market last month. Fleming is keen to give Jones a run-out when the Trawlerboys go to King's Lynn Town this afternoon for their final pre-season game. However, Fleming admits he may be forced to enter the transfer market if Jones breaks down again against the Linnets.
'Ash is a bit of a worry I must admit,' said the former Norwich City defender.
'He is going to try it against King's Lynn and we will take it from there. It could affect what we do in the transfer market if he doesn't feel comfortable with it. We've got Jake (Jessup), who is obviously a good young goalkeeper, but I wouldn't want to go into the new season with just one frontline goalkeeper.'
Lowestoft were forced to field a youth side for their friendly against Bury Town on Tuesday after picking up several knocks in the 2-0 defeat to Leiston last weekend. However, striker Shaun Bammant is expected to shrug off a knock to be fit for the start of the forthcoming term whilst Dan Gleeson is also making a good recovery from an ankle problem. There was also good news on Bradley Woods-Garness who has been given the go-ahead to step up his recovery from a knee problem.
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Dale Cockrill is also still in Lowestoft's plans as he continues his comeback from an operation to repair cartilage in his knee.
Despite a number of knocks and niggles in the squad, Fleming is pleased with the options at his disposal ahead of the Suffolk outfit's first foray into the Conference set-up.
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'We're about where I want them to be at this stage. But it's difficult to tell – it will take a few matches into the season for everyone to get up to full match speed,' said Fleming.
'Ideally we would like another couple of bodies, but we are running a small squad and we can't afford to be signing players just to fill out the squad.'
Lynn boss Gary Setchell expects to name his strongest line-up for a number of weeks with Jackson Ramm, David Bridges and Steve Spriggs – all of whom missed Tuesday's 3-1 loss at Dereham Town – scheduled to return. Young talent Shaun Stocker will however be sidelined with a knee problem that will keep him sidelined until the back end of the month.
Setchell said: 'We've never really had Bridges and Quigz (Quigley) in the same team, which I think will make a huge difference to us.
'I've got my full squad back for the weekend and we're in early to do some work (pre-game). We've got two games now to put it together (before first league game). We've had periods in pre-season where we've done really well, we've had a lot where we've done alright, but there's been a couple of periods that have been diabolically unacceptable. But like I've said before, judge us at Christmas, not during pre-season.'
A bucket collection will be held to raise money for former Lynn, and current Lowestoft striker, Jack Defty at the match because he remains sidelined after breaking his leg more than a year ago.