Felixstowe & Walton United striker crisis ahead of FA Cup tie

FELIXSTOWE & Walton United boss Steve Buckle is desperately trying to sign a striker ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup preliminary round.

The Seasiders have suffered a striker injury crisis which has left them without a recognised frontman to face Heybridge Swifts at the Goldstar Ground.

Both Danny Smy and Ben Cranfield picked up injuries in Tuesday night’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match at home to Brantham which was abandoned after 52 minutes.

Jamie Cole is sidelined by a thigh injury sustained in last Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Gorleston and Ashley Veitch, who limped off at the end of a reserve game last week, is also ruled out.

Buckle said: “Danny Smy has sustained some sort of ligament damage and will be out for several weeks while Ben Cranfield is definitely out on Saturday.

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“As it stands we will be without a natural striker, so we are struggling in that area, but we will put a couple up front and see how it goes.

“We are trying to get someone in, and we have spoken to a couple, but it is difficult to find players who are not already cup-tied.”

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His selection problems are compounded by the fact that goalkeeper Liam Jones and centre half Dan Davis are both unavailable, Darius Laws has been laid low by an Achilles injury and fellow midfielder Josh Capocci has left the club.

Buckle said: “There was a difference of opinion about the style of play we want to use and we felt it was best for both parties if Josh found another club.”

After rebuilding the squad following his appointment in the summer, Buckle and assistant Gary Thompson have found their resources stretched to the limit for tomorrow’s tie.

Buckle did manage yesterday to secure the signature of his son Matt, who joins brother James at the Goldstar Ground, after moving from Hadleigh United.

He said: “We were so looking forward to this game after beating Team Bury in the last round, but it has gone pear-shaped for us since then.

“I have spoken with (assistant manager) Neil Reader at Needham Market, who played Heybridge on Tuesday, and we know they will be strong with (Luke) Callender and (Michael) Cheek up front along with Ben Newson.

“But we will go out and play our normal game. It will be very, very difficult for us, but we will give it a go and you never know what will happen over the course of 90 minutes.”

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