Strike duo play through the pain in bid for record finish
STRIKERS Darren Edwards and Will Morford are prepared to play through the pain barrier in order to see Gloucester City through to their end of season targets.
Both frontmen are battling away against respective knee injuries and both will require surgery – but both will delay going under the knife as City bid for a record Blue Square Bet North finish.
The Tigers moved to within ten points of last season's record haul of 52 with Saturday's 4-1 win over hapless Hinckley United – a result that also consigned the Knitters to relegation.
Victory over Droylsden at tonight will not only strengthen City's top-half league position, it will also close off a second relegation place as the Bloods will be unable to catch the Tigers.
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And while Edwards and Morford are both battling against pain, boss Dave Mehew knows that both will grit their teeth to see their club through to their target.
"We would like to get everything done and dusted as soon as possible as both Darren and Will are going to need operations on their knee injuries," Mehew said.
"Darren showed on Saturday that he can battle through if needed but he's not going to be able to play every game and we'll want to get that done sooner or later.
"Will is already booked into have his operation two weeks before the end of the season – we can move that back if needed – but hopefully everything will be done by then anyway."
As both regular frontmen have battled injury, wide men Steve Davies and Adam Mann have been thrust forward into auxiliary strike roles.
Teen star Joe Parker has also been thrust into the starting lineup and bagged his first goal for the club two days shy of his 18th birthday in the Hinckley.
But when the only other forward option in the squad is 45-year-old boss Mehew – who was an unused substitute on Saturday – the City boss knows there is a need for reinforcements.
Cheltenham Saracens striker Ethan Moore has verbally agreed to join the Tigers and Mehew hopes to have the necessary forms signed in time for him to take a place in the squad to face Droylsden.
"I have spoken with Ethan and he wants to come it's just a case of getting the forms signed which isn't easy given his and our secretary's work commitments," Mehew said.
"But he definitely wants to come and we can wait until the morning of the game to get the forms signed if needs be."
Captain Matt Coupe remains sidelined with the ankle injury he picked up in the defeat to Harrogate Town, but there is positive news about long-term absentee Darren Mullings.
The midfielder is making good progress after surgery on a long-standing shoulder problem and could return to training next week.