Weekend Preview: Defensive crisis for Concord Rangers and south Essex trio look to bounce back

Major doubt - Concord defender Jack Lampe

Major doubt - Concord defender Jack Lampe

First published in Sport by

CONCORD Rangers are facing an injury crisis a week into the new season as they gear up to take on Hayes & Yeading tomorrow.

The Beachboys travel to Surrey with three of their first choice back four on the injury list after Jack Lampe and Steve King were taken off in Tuesday night’s defeat at Ebbsfleet United and Leon Gordon was withdrawn on the opening day win against Bath City.

Three other players are also believed to be carrying knocks for the islanders.

And Danny Cowley confirmed that a number of youth team players would be drafted in to make up the numbers.

“The youth team players will come in and have a chance to impress,” he said. “We have some good young footballers coming through and I know they won’t let me down.

“We still don’t know who will be fit to return tomorrow but Lampe is a big doubt as he took a heavy blow to the jaw.

“Hayes & Yeading are a well organised side. They have a manager in Phil Babb (former Liverpool centre-back) who has played at the very highest level and they will pose a lot of problems. Saying that, we are capable of stopping them and have shown we can beat them too.”

Cowley said it was unlikely he would look to bring in replacements, as clubs would be unwilling to loan out players so early in the season.

He went on to praise his side’s performance at Ebbsfleet in the week, the team many are tipping to be champions this year, Cowley included.

“The level of performance has been really high in the first week,” said Cowley. “Ebbsfleet are the favourites to win the league in my eyes but we pushed them all the way and were always going to struggle when we lost two defenders in the first 15 minutes.”

Cowley had the opposition watched in week against St Albans City and said taking anything from the game would represent a solid start to the new season.

“To beat Bath as convincingly as we did and to follow that up with a solid performance in the week has given us confidence. We lost 1-0 at Hayes & Yeading last year but could have taken something from the game and we go there aiming to win.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, Billericay Town, Canvey Island and Great Wakering Rovers are hoping to bounce back from midweek defeats this weekend.

Town travel to Lewes, having conceded an injury time goal to lose 2-1 at Leiston in the week, and will be looking to build on a opening day derby win against Grays Athletic.

Canvey are also on the road, playing new boys Peacehaven & Telscombe. The team promoted from the Ryman South side have taken four points from their two matches while Danny Heale will want a response after defeat to bogey team East Thurrock United on Tuesday.

Rovers host Maldon & Tiptree, having lost their opening two matches including a heartbreaking injury time goal to Brentwood Town in the week. Maldon will also be hungry for a win, having taken only a point so far.

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