Newmarket Town without a number of players for FA Cup trip to Royston Town
Player-manager Michael Shinn will be down to the bare bones for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie at higher-league Royston Town (3pm), but he has challenged his Newmarket Town side to still give a ‘good account’ of themselves.
The Crows, who ply their trade two levels higher than the Jockeys at Step 3, enjoyed good cups runs last term and are among a group of teams fancied to do well in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division this term.
And an already tough trip has become all the more tricky for Shinn as summer signings Jon Carver and Henry Hall will both miss out through suspension, while Jack Whiting, Lewis Whitehead and Blake Kicks are all sidelined by injuries. Ross Paterson, meanwhile, is unavailable for the clash at Garden Park.
However, while the list of absentees may be lengthy, Shinn has backed those that will be involved to hold their own.
“It’s going to be really tough but you’ve got to back yourself in any game,” he said. “We’ve got boys in our team that can play at levels above what we play in.
“This is an opportunity for them to go out and show that - want to be the best player on the pitch.
“We’ll be the underdogs and clearly a number of the first-team squad is going to be missing, but we’ll go there looking to give a good account of ourselves.
“It’s the FA Cup – you never quite know what is going to happen.”
As was the case during Tuesday evening’s 2-2 draw with Mildenhall Town , the Newmarket bench is likely to be filled by some of the club’s youngsters.
Callum Chambers-Shaw and Harvey Norman both got on during the derby, with the duo having featured the night before in the Under-18s’ FA Youth Cup victory at Brantham Athletic.
And Shinn will have no qualms about turning to youth again in the world’s oldest cup competition.
“They’ve been great for us in pre-season and they won well in the FA Youth Cup,” he added.
“I am keen they play in that. We could have held a few back (to play Mildenhall), but it’s the best competition they can play in. It’s important they experience it.
“All of them can do a job for me. This time last year Ben Landshoff came in against Mildenhall and was brilliant, and the other lads will be.
“I’ve got no problem throwing these young boys in because you have to give them a chance.
“Whether that comes from being short or not, it’s an opportunity. Hopefully they take it because the way we do things here, if you do well you stay in the team.”