Wisbech Town manager Dick Creasey is facing a selection headache as the Fenmen start the new season on the FA Cup trail at Boston Town.
Already without the suspended duo of Sam Murphy and Scott Johnson for the Extra Preliminary clash at the DWB Stadium, Creasey also has doubts over the trio of Jon Fairweather, Josh Pike and Danny Beaumont.
Fairweather is struggling with a knock picked up in the pre-season victory against Thetford Town, while Danny Beaumont’s wife has just given birth and Josh Pike returned home to Wales this week after his grandfather was taken ill.
Creasey said: “It isn’t ideal but we’ve just got to get on with it. We have got to make sure that we prepare ourselves properly this week and that we are ready for the tie.
“Boston Town are not a bad side. They’ve made one or two very good signings and I’m expecting them to be pushing for a place in the top six in the league this season.
“We all know how important the FA Cup is to a club like ourselves. It would be nice to go a couple of rounds in it and earn a couple of bob.
“If we can come away from Saturday with at least a replay and we are still in the competition then I will be delighted.”
If the tie finishes as a draw, any replay will take place at the Elgood’s Stadium on Tuesday night.
Whatever Saturday’s result, things don’t get any easier for the Fenmen who start their United Counties League Premier Division campaign at home to title favourites Peterborough Sports on Tuesday night.
“They are everybody’s odds-on favourites to win the league this season,” admitted Creasey, who will still be without both Murphy and Johnson for the league opener.
“Our supporters will know what’s going on at Peterborough Sports and it’s a good one to start at home with.
“It’s on our patch and I don’t think they will relish coming to us for the first game.”
Creasey harbours high hopes for the Fenmen going into the new campaign but said: “I think we will be very competitive this season, but it is going to take two to three weeks before fans start to see the best of us.
“The league is very strong this season. I think Holbeach will also do well, while rumours have it that Newport Pagnell have spent a bit and are going to have a go.
“Both Deeping and Yaxley will also be strong and up there and that’s not forgetting Leicester Nirvana where we go to on Saturday week.”
Creasey offered no excuses for the 3-0 BKD cup defeat at local rivals March Town United on Saturday.
Midfielder Luke Pepper, so effective playing up front, had struck the bar before he scored twice. In the second half new Hares signing Kev Holt’s looping header made it 3-0.
“We wasn’t able to play anything like the side we would like to start the season with against March,” said Creasey.
“But I’m not using that as an excuse because what we saw on Saturday simply wasn’t good enough and March fully deserved their victory.”
On the club’s pre-season programme as a whole, Creasey said: “We’ve been very up and down but we haven’t been able to field anything like a settled team.”
Thanks to Chatteris Town, Wisbech Reserves will now host Chatteris Res tonight, 7pm, on the back pitch.
March: D Beeny, A Conyard, Holt, Mattless, Fiddes, Barber, Cox, Jackson, Brand, McManus, Pepper. Subs: Morton, Brady, S Beeny.