handle with care

Gary Hart
Gary Hart

Eastbourne Borough boss Garry Wilson insists star striker Gary Hart will be firing on all cylinders for Sunday’s tricky FA Cup clash.

The former Albion man was hauled off after 60 minutes during the disappointing 3-0 defeat at Salisbury last week.

Hart, who was playing his third match in seven days looked below his best and Wilson described his performance as ‘leggy.’

But with no midweek fixture the 34-year-old has had a week off competitive football and is eager to face Ryman League North high-flyers Waltham Forest.

The Boro’ boss said, “Gary played ever so well at Thurrock and we thought let’s send him out there again.

“But maybe that was the wrong decision. It was a leggy performance and perhaps it’s the fact that he played three games in a week.

“I don’t think Gary has ever done that especially during the latter part of his career.

“He has just come back from an injury, he has made the step down from full-time to part-time and he is coach during the week.

“Perhaps his body is adjusting to that change. We need to learn from that and manage Gary better in future. He is good to go this weekend. We have not settled on our starting line-up but he is fit and available for selection.”

Boro’ have not enjoyed the best of fortunes in the FA Cup recently and Wilson insists Waltham is another very tricky assignment for his inconsistent side. Forest are second in the division one north and have lost just two league games this season.

“They are going very well in the Ryman and they are a side used to winning and will be full of confidence. Make no mistake this is a tough tie for us.

“We have to be tight. At times this season we have been too open and teams have got at us. We will have a look at different formations in training this week and see what suits us. “We have to set up properly for this one. Obviously we want to win but a draw would not be a disaster for us either.

“We are no different to any other team, we would love a good run in the cup but first we have to get through this one. It will not be easy.”

Club captain Ben Austin remains sidelined after his groin operation along with long term absentee Ross Treleaven. ‘Keeper Clarke Masters is nearing fitness and is expected to challenge Rikki Banks, who has had a few wobbles in recent weeks, for the number one jersey. Matt Smart could return after missing the defeat at Salisbury.

Sonny Cobbs is expected to depart and is having trials with a club in the Lebanon.