Oldham seeks defensive cover as Hallen loom
GERRY Oldham believes a GFA Trophy victory over Hallen this evening can kick-start Cheltenham Saracens' faltering season.
Their return to action after a month-long weather enforced lay-off ended in a 4-0 defeat by Binfield on Saturday.
To make matters worse leading scorer Ethan Moore was dismissed and now faces a suspension.
Oldham admitted his team "didn't turn up" against Binfield, but with a semi-final place up for grabs at Petersfield Park tonight he wants his players to provide cause for optimism for the remaining months of the campaign.
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"We got exactly what we deserved on Saturday and we can have no excuses," Oldham said.
"We looked like a team that hadn't played together for a while, and we could only have one training session during that month off because of the snow.
"We still should have been a lot better though, and we made Binfield look a lot better than they are."
Prolific former Cheltenham Town front man Moore is available tonight, but he will be forced to serve a suspension in the coming weeks.
Saracens welcome Sam Slender and Jordan Bryan back from suspension against Hallen, but Josh Swales and Carl Griffiths are still banned and Pat Sayce is injured.
"We have a decent squad of 14 but I am trying to bring in a defender," Oldham said.
"I've had to play Lorcan Sheeham there recently and he's a midfielder, so I need a big, ugly centre-half because we've been letting too many goals in and we are struggling a bit at the back."
Saracens are looking to set up a semi-final against Gloucestershire County League side Bristol Academy. Western League Hallen stand in their way.
"This can give us a boost if we get through," Oldham said.
"Bristol Academy play a couple of levels below us but they are a decent side.
"We need to worry about this round though because Hallen won't be easy.
"But it's a chance to get through and it would give everyone a lift and get us going again after a frustrating few weeks."