Hat-trick hero faces the axe

Carl Rook
Carl Rook
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STRIKER Carl Rook could face the rare indignation of scoring a midweek hat-trick and then being dropped for Saturday’s league match at Priory Lane.

Rook played a starring role for Eastbourne Borough as they swept aside County League division two side Little Common in the Sussex Senior at Priory Lane on Tuesday.

But with Gary Hart, Ben Watson and Eddie Hutchinson all fit plus the added option of playing Matt Crabb just behind the main striker, Rook could well find himself warming the bench once more against Basingstoke.

Boss Garry Wilson said, “We have a number options and that is good for us. Carl did very well for us albeit against lower league opposition.

“He took his goals well and the hat-trick will give him boost. But the squad is back to full strength. I thought we were excellent as an attacking threat at Havant. We did not score but our front men caused them problems for the full 90.

“I need to speak to the players and see how the likes of Gary (Hart) and Ben (Austin) are and take it from there.”

Hart, who scored twice against Little Common on his return from injury, looks set to play a role against Basingstoke as long as his knee responded well to the 70 minute midweek work out.

Skipper Austin could also be ready to start his first league game of the season after playing a full 90 minutes for the reserves last weekend followed by another 90 minutes on Tuesday.

Former Portsmouth player Peter Gregory is not expected figure tomorrow. Wilson admits he would like to sign the 19-year-old but needs to make room in his budget before discussing terms with the youngster.

Basingstoke are expected to offer a stern challenge as Wilson’s men seek to record their first league victory since their 3-0 victory against Eastleigh on October 8.

Tomorrow’s visitors performed well against League One side Brentford in the FA Cup last week narrowly losing 1-0.

Wilson added, “Basingstoke are a very good side make no mistake. It will be a very tough match.”