League leaders Wrexham provide next test for injury-hit Braintree Town

DEFENDER Pat O’Connor will be recalled from his loan at the Met Police as Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire looks to temper a growing list of absentees, ahead of the visit of league leaders Wrexham tomorrow.

The former Millwall trainee joined the Ryman League Division One South outfit last month and played in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Tooting and Mitcham but is needed back at the Amlin Stadium.

Devonshire will definitely be without defender Matt Paine following his dismissal in the 5-1 home defeat to Forest Green last Saturday while skipper Kenny Davis (groin), defender Ryan Peters (calf) and club stalwart Brad Quinton (illness) are all doubtful.

Despite his side conceding 30 goals in the last nine games, Devonshire is unlikely to be bolstering his squad before the weekend but is likely to hand new signing, defender, Dean Wells a first start for the Blue Square Bet Premier side.

The former Brentford defender was handed a baptism of fire as a substitute during last Saturday’s drubbing but is needed by his new boss to face the in-form Red Dragons.

“Dean will start on Saturday and it’s probably the toughest game he could face for a full debut,” said Devonshire.

“We signed him for the long-term but with Matt (Paine) suspended, his chance has come sooner rather than later and this is a good opportunity for him.

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“I will also be recalling Pat O’Connor as we have got one or two injury doubts and also have one eye on Tuesday night when we travel to Tamworth.”

The Welsh side are expected to bring a large following to Essex with player-manager Andy Morrell’s side unbeaten in 11 games and segregation will be in force at the Amlin Stadium.

The former Football League side can boast a vast amount of experience and quality, including veterans Morrell, Chris Westwood and Glen Little and are likely to field 13-goal strike partnership, Jake Speight (7) and Mathias Pogba (6).

“Wrexham are a good side, especially going forward and will provide a very tough test but this is the league that we want to be in and these are the teams that we want to test ourselves against,” said Devonshire.

“There is no expectation on us and if we were picking an ideal game to be an underdog this would probably be it. But we have got to play them at some stage of the season.

“There is no point mulling over what went on last weekend. We have just got to get on with.”

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