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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Selection headaches for Hawcoat Park and Furness Rovers

IT could well be a case of pass the painkillers for Dave Staunton and Mark Knowles as each manager bids to get over a selection headache.

A0466870.jpg caskie
HAPPY RETURN: Steve Caskie is expected to be named as a substitute for Furness Rovers after recovering from a broken ankle JON GRANGER REF: 0466870

Hawcoat Park entertain Furness Rovers tomorrow, with both bosses being in the unusual position of having a full squad to select from.

Staunton’s Rovers have steadily climbed the West Lancs Division One table, despite struggling to get sufficient numbers for away games, and they sit eighth in the table following their great 3-2 win at Haslingden St Mary’s and a four-match unbeaten run.

Meanwhile, Hawcoat Park sit fourth bottom and Knowles, like many other managers last weekend, was left twiddling his thumbs as a heavy rainfall saw many fixtures washed away.

Park were due to entertain Hesketh Bank and would have been hoping to put some points in the bag in their bid to climb the table.

Knowles, who once played for Staunton, would dearly like to get one over on his old boss, but Staunton will have other ideas and reliable goalscorer Steve Caskie is expected to be named as a substitute after being sidelined with a broken ankle.

The Hawcoat boss will be looking to players like Dave Round and Craig Salton to sway the match in his favour.

Staunton was impressed with his side’s performance against Haslingden in a match which saw teenage midfielder Hakan McCracken score the winner with just 15 minutes left on the clock. Another young player to impress Staunton was right back Seth Storey.

Staunton said: “When we are at home we are okay, it’s just when we travel away. We had about five players out on Saturday with work and other commitments but we are blooding some good young lads and they really came up trumps on Saturday.”

Rovers took two 16-year-olds and two 17-year-olds to Haslingden, with Staunton saying: “They really helped us out, we virtually scraped together a team for last Saturday.

“I just think on Saturday a lot of the players that were available and travelled really pulled it out. It was a really good performance.

“I don’t know whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate – this Saturday we have virtually a full-strength side to pick from. There should be a lot of competition for places.

“We obviously fancy our chances this week and we are hoping to be back to somewhere near full-strength.

“Local derbies are always very tricky but hopefully with a full squad we hope to get a result. It will put a gap between us and the bottom teams.”

Centre half Chris Lysons, who suffered a cruciate injury while playing against Turton about 18 months ago, is expected to sit this campaign out, with his boss hoping to see him feature again next season.

He recently underwent surgery, and Staunton said: “He’s had a terrible injury. He’s just had a second op, we just wish him all the best

“He really has had a horrible time of it, we are just hoping after his second operation everything will be okay and he can play again. He still comes and watches.”

Knowles is anticipating tough game and said of his opposite number: “He knows his stuff, he’s got that team playing well by the sound of it.”

He added: “We need to show the sort of attitude that we have in training through the week because that’s fantastic, but we keep letting ourselves down with mistakes on a Saturday. We are more than capable but we are just not showing it.

“We get some good performances from the spine of the team as a rule but we need to do it all at the same time.

“We will be running out of excuses now, because all the players are back and getting fit.

“They are all there up for selection this week and it will be down to me to get the best out of the 14 that end up in the squad.”

Other Division One matches see Millom travel to Bac/Ee Preston while Dalton United, defeated 3-0 at Mill Hill St Peters, host Norcross & Warbreck.

Crooklands Casuals entertain Thornton Cleveleys in the Premier Division and Vickerstown CCFC travel to Eagley.

Division Two sees a derby to relish when Askam United take on Walney Island. Barrow Wanderers are at home to Whinney Hill while another cracking derby looks in store when Furness Cavaliers entertain GSK Ulverston Rangers.

Holker Old Boys’ league campaign has taken off with the Rakesmoor Lane outfit recording their third straight win and third clean sheet in the North West Counties Division One after their 4-0 victory at Rochdale Town.

They will be aiming to continue in the same vein when they travel to Atherton Collieries tomorrow.

l The Furness Referees’ Society will hold their monthly meeting at Hawcoat Park on Monday (7pm start).

Steve Stewart, the referee development officer from the Lancashire FA, will be the guest speaker.

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