Horsham FC skipper Gary Charman could make a surprise return from injury in time to face Walton & Hersham this Saturday in the FA Cup.
Charman has been sidelined for the last two games after suffering a groin injury at the end of the draw with Leatherhead, an injury which the player said he expected would keep him out for up to a month.
The versatile defender will, though undergo a fitness test on the morning of the match along with right-back Lewis Hamilton, who tweaked his hamstring in the last game at Three Bridges.
Hornets boss Simon Colbran said: “We’ve got a big squad this year so we’ve got cover but both Gary and Lewis have made a really good start to the season so we’re hoping to get them fit. We’ve got a brilliant physio in Andi (Marfleet) so if anyone can get them fit he will.”
Colbran is expecting a tough test against a side who, like Horsham have also recruited heavily in the summer after struggling at the wrong end of the Ryman South table last season.
The two meetings last term ended as draws and Walton & Hersham have made a similar start to the new season as Horsham, winning three of their opening six games, drawing one and losing the other two, including a 2-1 Bank Holiday defeat to near-neighbours Walton Casuals.
“Every FA Cup game is always tough, it doesn’t matter who you play because of how famous the competition is and because there’s money involved which means a lot to teams at our level,” Colbran said.
“They are totally different from last year where I felt we dropped two points in both games. But we are full of confidence and we have a better squad this year so I hope that will show on Saturday.”
Colbran is hoping his side can progress further than the two rounds last year when they lost 2-1 at Thurrock in the 2nd Qualifying Round, and should they get through Saturday’s Preliminary Round they will net just under £2,000 in prize money.
“The budget is tight, everybody knows that so of course the money from winning would be help massively,” Colbran said. “But I don’t want to put any extra pressure on the side. We have made a good start to the season, which could have been even better with a couple more wins but it’s about carrying on that momentum into Saturday.”
Other than Hamilton and assistant manager Charman, Colbran expects to have a full squad to choose from with no other fitness concerns.