Mildenhall Town may be heading into what Dean Greygoose describes as ‘the biggest game’ in their history with an injury list as bad as he has known, but he believes toppling another higher-league side on their own patch is still very much on the cards.
Hall have an eye-watering injury list of seven first-team players as they prepare for Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round tie at Lancaster City on Saturday (3pm).
The 18th placed Bostik League Division One North side have pulled off a couple of this season’s biggest Trophy upsets already, with memorable away wins at King’s Lynn Town and Barwell (both 1-0) in what is their debut in the competition.
But despite one win in their last seven and long-term injuries including captain Luke Butcher (broken arm), Rob Ruddy (broken ankle) and Danny Crow (broken toe), Greygoose is still full of belief they can create some more cup magic at the mid-table Northern League Premier Division side who have won five of their last six in all competitions.
“They are unbeaten at home and good going forward and we have a lot of injuries and injuries to big players too: everything is stacked against us. But I love it and can’t wait,” he said.
“When things like this are going against you it makes you come together and work harder, and we have a great team ethos here.
“The starting XI will be good enough, it is just whether the bench is good enough to change it if we need to.”
The Mildenhall boss said he ‘could not be more proud’ of his players after a bare bones side made up largely of young players managed a 2-2 draw at Grays Athetlic in the league on Saturday, before only succumbing to an injury-time goal at higher-league Leiston on Tuesday in a 2-1 defeat in the Suffolk Premier Cup.
He revealed he was in talks with two defenders this week, both who currently play at lower-level Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clubs, to strengthen his squad ahead of the weekend, having signed Thetford Town forward Tanner Call, who scored 10 goals in 17 appearances in the same league, ahead of making his debut last Saturday.
“Tanner has had a bit of a shock to his system in the last few games but he is an intelligent player and I have told him what he needs to work on.
“I know he will only get better.”
More than 50 Hall fans are believed to be making the long trip up to Lancashire, with Greygoose hopeful of having Jake Chambers-Shaw, Jake Kerrins and Josh Curry all back from injury, but ready to go with youngsters such as Tuesday’s 16-year-old debutant Aaron Smith, if needed.
“Our physio will probably be up all night Thursday,” he quipped.
“We are major underdogs, as we have been for the last two games.
“We will give it our best shot, and who knows?
“We will go there trying to win it, as that is the only way we know of doing it.”