Linnets face anxious wait over star striker's injury
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs is challenging his makeshift strikeforce to shine in tonight's Unibond Premier Division home clash against North Ferriby.
King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs is challenging his makeshift strikeforce to shine in tonight's Unibond Premier Division home clash against North Ferriby (7.45pm).
Injured star striker Gareth Sheldon will undergo further medical tests on a damaged left knee later this week to assess the extent of any potential lay-off while Anthony Robinson begins the first of a three- match suspension.
Owen Story and versatile new recruit Danny Spencer are poised to lead a frontline minus the double act that has plundered ten league goals in the last five games.
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Heggs yesterday refused to put a timeline on top scorer Sheldon's possible injury absence after the 29-year-old suffered suspected ligament damage in the 4-2 weekend win at Guiseley. “He had an X-ray at hospital when he got home on Saturday and that came back clear,” said Heggs. “The next 24 to 48 hours will determine the extent of the injury. I think he will go off for a scan on Wednesday or Thursday and that will give us a better idea of the length of time he might be out. I just don't know at this stage, let's wait for the scans but it could be anything between four or six weeks. Let's hope it's less. I have to look on the positive side. We've got plenty of lads who can play up top and we're still trying to bring in a centre forward. What I don't want to do is sign someone on contract and then Shelly comes back earlier than expected and we have four players for two positions. We are not King's Lynn the big payers any more and people around the non league game have to realise that.”
Heggs is set to re-deploy attacking wide player Ryan Beswick at left back for Spencer who made his debut at Guiseley in a new-look defensive formation. “It's not about the system, it's about the players,” said Heggs. “We've scored four goals away from home so that's more than attacking enough for me. I've proved I'm brave enough to make decisions to win us a football match and I will continue to do whatever it takes.
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“Ryan played two years at left back in Leicester's reserves and he's good on set-pieces. That allows me to push Danny up front alongside Owen who has the pace to get in behind. We could use Jordan (Smith) in that role but I feel we need someone who can hold up the ball. I'd love to win back-to-back games to go six unbeaten and get us in and around that top six. This place would then be really buzzing but let's not put any more pressure on these young lads.”
Liam Murray (ankle) and Matt Birley (ankle) are fit for selection. Recalled defender Craig McAughtrie and new midfield signing Jamie Oliver will get another chance to impress after eye-catching displays in Yorkshire. “Young Jamie came in and started beasting everybody in that midfield,” said Heggs. “I don't think they got a look in across the middle of the park and that was a huge positive. I told Craig after the game that is the reason I brought him to this club. We'd worked at training on the Thursday with him picking up gaps and dealing with anything that the two young lads couldn't handle and I thought he did that brilliantly in the game. Until Liam went off injured I felt we were solid but with Shelly's injury and the length of time it took to get him off the pitch maybe the lads switched off and that's when they hit us with two goals.”
Heggs insists Lynn remain on course to achieve his promotion target. “They give me a heart attack at times but it's a work in progress,” said Heggs. “Before the Guiseley game I told them we'd had no luck in August. Robbo misses from three yards against Whitby, then Callum (Lloyd) is brought down for a stonewall penalty but August has gone now. We've got lads who have never played at this level who are slowly getting to grips with it and it will take time. For me, we had enough chances to beat Worksop and Whitby and if we'd held on against Retford we'd be top or very near it.”
King's Lynn (from): Gay, Magunda, Spencer, McAughtrie, Boyce, Murray, Smedley, Webb, Smith, Oliver, Story, Lloyd, Beswick, McAnally, Martin, Davey.
t Children aged 15 and under can watch tonight's game at The Walks for a �1 admission price when accompanied by a full paying adult.
t Watch live updates of tonight's match from The Walks at www.pinkun.com/content/pinkun/kings-lynn/live/2009-2010/090908NorthFerriby.aspx