JAY May is set to return from injury for Billericay Town after playing in their midweek friendly with Chesham United.
Last season’s top scorer played the final 20 minutes in Tuesday’s game at New Lodge, and club owner Grant Gordon said he could be in the squad for tomorrow’s visit of Havant & Waterlooville.
May’s season has yet to get going after he was handed a three-match suspension for getting sent off in the opening day win over Truro, before suffering a niggling hamstring problem.
“He had no adverse reaction and it was good to see him back playing again,” said Gordon.
“He’s an important player for us, so even if we can have him on the bench, it will give us a boost.”
Town have moved to solve their goalkeeping problem by bringing in 18-year-old Luke Bartlett on loan from Millwall after he impressed in a first-half outing against Chesham.
But they will be missing skipper Rob Swaine as he serves a one-match suspension after picking up five bookings.
Gordon said they were taking a look at two new centre backs on Thursday night.
Havant slipped back into the bottom three after a 1-0 home defeat to Farnborough in manager Lee Bradbury’s first league game in charge on Saturday.
Billericay were excellent in their last outing – a 3-1 win over Dorchester – but Gordon said they won’t be resting on their laurels.
He said: “Havant are second from bottom but three wins would put them top, so we won’t be reading anything into that.”
East Thurrock manager John Coventry says everyone is looking forward to their eagerly-anticipated FA Trophy clash at home to neighbours Thurrock.
Fans have debated which is the top side in the borough, but Coventry says he has no doubt.
He said: “I don’t think there is any question – we have been the top side for years now.
“Thurrock have been in the higher league, but at the bottom of it, and they’ve had reprieves.
“We’ve been going up for the last three or four years and performing very well in the cups, and what have they done?
“So I don’t think there’s any question that we are the top team in the borough.”
Danny Heale said he wants to fire Great Wakering to promotion after signing for the Essex Senior League side on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Canvey striker has dual registered with Rovers to get some more game time.
It’s a coup for Rovers to bring in a player who scored an Essex Senior League record of 46 goals last time he played at that level.
Heale said: “I called (Canvey manager) Steve Tilson and just said I need to get some games under my belt because if I am needed for Canvey I would not be sharp enough. And he agreed.”
Heale, who’s scored 32 goals for the Gulls since joining in 2010 from Concord, said he also had the chance to go to Ryman One North sides Witham Town and Aveley.
He said: “I chose Wakering because Dan Trenkel (Rovers’ player-manager) is a good friend, I used to play with Dave Collins, and Richard Halle is there to get some game time from Billericay.
"So what I’d like to do is get fit and help them get into Ryman One North, and that would suit everyone.
"I’d like to thank Canvey fans because they’ve been terrific towards me, and if they do need me back I’d be happy to do that.”
Heale will go straight in Rovers’ squad for their trip to London APSA tomorrow.
Elsewhere in the Essex Senior League, Southend Manor host Sporting Bengal, Hullbridge Sports go to Bethnal Green, and Bowers & Pitsea welcome London Bari.
As the Echo went to press yesterday, Basildon United had still not appointed a new manager for their home game with Enfield 1893.
Canvey made it three wins on the bounce with a 3-1 victory over Margate on Tuesday, with in-form Bradley Woods-Garness bagging a hat-trick to become the top scorer in the Ryman Premier on seven.
Tilson said: “I don’t think we’ve been playing any differently in the last few games, it’s just a case of us putting our chances away.
“Bradley is enjoying his football, and I think you can see that, and he’s also been helped by Louis Dennis coming in and doing well, because they’ve struck up a good partnership.”
Tilson said he’ll be putting out his strongest side for tomorrow’s trip to Evo-Stik One side Uxbridge for an FA Trophy clash.
Jay Curran, Leon Gordon and James Hawes all face late fitness tests for the Gulls.
Concord are also in FA Trophy action, at home to Enfield Town. The Beachboys warmed-up with a 4-1 win over Romford in the league cup on Wednesday, with Jason Hallett, John Easterford, Jerome Walker and Harry Elmes on target.