*BS*DOVER boss Andy Hessenthaler is searching for defensive reinforcements, as the club’s injury and suspension problems continue to bite into his squad.*BF*
Whites face a long trip to Fleetwood this weekend with potentially eight players unavailable for the FA Trophy tie.
Hess has been working hard throughout the week to find a loan signing from Football League contacts, concerned by the fitness of key players and an upcoming three-game ban for versatile defender Dean Hill.
Player-manager Hessenthaler said: “I’m making calls and calling in a few favours. I want to get a centre-half and I have been talking to Football League clubs.”
Lee Browning and Sam Gore are long term absentees from the matchday squad, though Browning is back in training and may be forced onto the bench sooner than anticipated if Whites are down to the bare bones.
Jon Wallis, Danny Walder and Jake Leberl are all rated as 50/50 at best for Saturday. Both Wallis and Leberl have both struggled with persistent niggling injuries this season, breaking up the consistency of selection in defence and midfield.
Another blow is the suspension of Sammy Moore for one game. The former Brentford midfielder has collected five yellow cards this season.
Youngster Dean Grant cannot play in the FA Trophy, as he is cup tied following an appearance for Folkestone against Hitchin in an earlier round of the competition.
Two players who are available to play on Saturday are James Rogers and Dean Hill but they also face upcoming suspensions. Their bans start on Monday, January 11.
Rogers will miss one match for his sending off against Chelmsford. Hill was also dismissed against the Essex promotion chasers and will sit out three games for a straight red card.
Tom Davis, on loan at Croydon Athletic, cannot be called upon yet, as a loan player cannot be recalled within the first 28 days of a loan spell. Tom’s month at the Ryman South club ends next week, when he will return to Perrys Crabble to give the Hessenthaler a much needed extra option.
Should Whites manage to beat BlueSquare North high-flyers Fleetwood, they will be one of 16 clubs vying for a final berth at Wembley Stadium in May.
Hessenthaler said: “This is a massive game for the club. If you get through then you are in the last 16 and then who knows what can happen?”
*BS*Fleetwood’s Frost Protection System:*BF* *Link1*