Depleted Hawks’ injury woes remain for Monday’s National League South trip to Chippenham

Depleted Hawks are again set to be without a host of first-team players for the bank holiday Monday trip to Chippenham.

By Lewis Mason
Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:13 pm
Paul Rooney remains a doubt for Hawks' trip to Chippenham on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture: Keith Woodland
Paul Rooney remains a doubt for Hawks' trip to Chippenham on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture: Keith Woodland

Paul Rooney (calf) and Josh Passley (quad) are both huge doubts for the National League South trip to Wiltshire, while Sam Magri (calf) and Jamie Collins (hamstring) remain sidelined.

Such was the severity of Paul Doswell' s injury absences in the win at Hampton & Richmond last time out, he was able to submit a match-day squad of just 13 players.

Yet, despite being depleted in terms of squad numbers in the early stage of the season, Hawks have a perfect league record with two successive victories.

And Doswell feels if his troops can record another positive result at Chippenham then things should start looking much brighter on the injury front in time for the attractive-looking trip to Ebbsfleet on September 4.

The Hawks boss, whose side are inactive on Saturday due to their being an odd amount of clubs in the NLS, said: 'It was difficult (at Hampton) because we literally had 13.

‘We went from 16 players down to 13 so to only have two outfield subs was unusual for our level of football, but we couldn’t name anyone else.

'Nothing has really changed too much this week. Mags Sam Magri) and Josh Passley have had scans, obviously Sam was his calf, it’s sciatica so it’s coming from his back down to his calf.

'Passley had his scan on his quad which has come back clear, but he’s still got some discomfort in there.

‘Rooney (Paul) we’re hoping might train tomorrow morning ahead of Monday’s game. We haven’t got loads coming back for Monday, that’s for sure.

‘Both Sam and Rooney have had a similar issue where sciatica is causing them nerve problems down their legs.'

Rooney and Passley played in the season-opening win against Welling, but were replaced by Billy Clifford and Michael Green at Hampton.

Despite the current injury issues, Doswell does not intend to dip into the transfer market - feeling his current squad provides the right balance and is not keen to disrupt that.

Doswell added: ‘It’s been unfortunate, but it’s nothing major (injury issues). If we can get through Monday we should be a lot better come the Ebbsfleet game, I think.

‘We’re going to the Slough game tomorrow to watch them (Chippenham) so we’ll be fully versed in what they’re doing.

‘I feel we’ve got a really nicely balanced squad with 18. It’s just been this past week with Collins out, Mags out, Benny Read, Rooney - I’ve got to be honest, Oscar Gobern passed a fitness test by the skin of his teeth so he wasn’t right.

‘I don’t think they’re long term; by the Ebbsfleet game we should be back to having 14 or 15, we’ll be more than okay than that.'

*Gosport Borough have signed midfielder Devane Boungou and utility player Luke Hallet.

Boungou played for Blackfield & Langley during their season in the Southern League Premier South, in 2019/20, whilst Hallet has joined on loan from Forest Green Rovers.

Boungou ‘is a big, strong, powerful midfielder and very good on the ball, so it gives a different dimension from what we got,’ said Gale.

‘We’ve got some good young players but we need that senior physicality which he gives us.’

Hallet, who can play at centre-half or up front, made his ELFL debut as a late sub at Stevenage last March.