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Rocester injury crisis eases ahead of ‘massive’ Heather St John’s game

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

14/12/13 Rocester v Dunkirk - Uttoxeter, Rocester
Rocester FC V Dunkirk - Manager

14/12/13 Rocester v Dunkirk - Uttoxeter, Rocester Rocester FC V Dunkirk - Manager

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MANAGER Dave Shaw hopes to welcome back at least four players for tomorrow’s “massive” game against Heather St John’s.

Brent Upton, Aaron Dillon and Dan McDonald should all be fit for the relegation scrap at Hillsfield, kick-off 3pm.

And with Belper enjoying a weekend off, Aaron Cole is also in contention for a spot in the starting XI.

The return of key players is good news for Shaw following a crippling injury list, but Alfie Holland (ankle) and Tom Ellerton (hamstring) remain sidelined and unlikely to return before the final couple of games.

“We’ve had that many injuries we’ve not known where to turn,” said Shaw. “We’ve been dragging players from everywhere who have signed forms.

“For the last few weeks the injuries have been killing us. It has come at a bad time.

“We were on a bit of a run, but now it’s a case of digging ourselves out again.

“We have been going to places and other teams have been bringing players on after 70 minutes and changing the game.

“We have not been able to do that. That’s been frustrating.”

Rocester suffered their fifth consecutive defeat in Tuesday evening’s 3-0 reverse at Stourport Swifts.

The manager once again had to name himself on the bench due to lack of numbers, but that run of defeats must end tomorrow says Shaw.

“It’s an absolutely massive game,” said the Romans boss. “If we lose it makes life extremely difficult.

“We’ve got Heather St John’s, Dunkirk and Highgate (United) in three consecutive Saturdays.

“Really, with the side we’ve got, with the lads back from injury and a good team out, I’d expect to beat all three.

“We’ve Tividale on Tuesday – top of the league – but they’ve had some off results so you never know if we’ve got a full side out.”

Shaw admits that the long-term absence of Ellerton is a blow for a side who remain third from bottom in the Midland Alliance.

He said: “It feels like a bit of a sob story with the injuries.

“We’ve lacked a bit of experience when we’ve gone away to places like Stourport.

“But at the end of the day you’ve got to deal with it.

“I still think we can get out of trouble. If I didn’t then I wouldn’t have taken the job.

“I don’t think any of the sides in the bottom six are out of it yet.”

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