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Benbow blow for Glassboys
1:00pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in Football
SERIOUS injury and a suspension has left Stourbridge short in the striker department for Saturday’s trip to St Neots Town.
Luke Benbow, who scored three times in this week’s wins over Bideford and Banbury United, will miss the journey to Cambridgeshire after being slapped with a two match ban for picking up 10 bookings.
To make matters worse, fellow forward James McPike was stretchered off with a suspected cruciate ligament injury at Banbury on Tuesday.
Boss Gary Hackett will extend James Spray’s loan from AFC Telford for another month and Marvin Nisbett will also return from his loan spell at Gornal.
But the manager admits the situation is not ideal.
He said: “We are very much down to the bare bones.
“At this time it’s not looking very good for James and he could be out for the rest of the season.
“It’s a real shame for him as he’s waited patiently for his chance.
“James and Marvin will be our only two strikers for the next couple of games, though we also have the option of Ben Billingham who can play up front if needed.
“I’m not likely to bring anyone else in. If you bring another striker in you are left with one too many when everyone is back fit.”
He added: “Luke has been brilliant for us this season but there are elements to his game he could improve.
“You have to say 10 bookings is too much.”
Benbow scored twice late on as Stour recorded a deserved 3-1 win over Bideford. Sean Geddes had put the hosts ahead from the spot but the visitors had threatened to take a share of the spoils until Benbow’s late intervention.
The striker then netted the opener at Banbury, before Nathan Bennett’s late header ensured the Glassboys threw a rather irritating monkey off their backs as they recorded their first win at Spencer Stadium since Hackett took charge almost a decade ago.
Hackett said: “I said before the game the reason we had not won at Banbury before is because we have played rubbish.
“The reason we won on Tuesday is, apart from the first 10 seconds when they almost scored, we played very well and it was a pretty comfortable 2-0 win.
“It has nothing to do with them being a bogey side, a hoodoo, or anything like that.”
Jordan Fitzpatrick and Drew Canavan should both be fit for the trip to St Neots.