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Covo: We'll win FA Cup match for injured Sheehan
12:10pm Friday 19th October 2012 in News
EAST Thurrock manager John Coventry says they’d love to put a smile on the face of leg-break victim Steve Sheehan with an FA Cup victory in their mouth-watering derby at Chelmsford City tomorrow.
The 22-year-old suffered a clean break of his shin bone after landing awkwardly in Saturday’s draw at Met Police and is waiting to learn how long that will rule him out of the game for.
And Coventry, who re-signed Sheehan from Canvey Island this summer, says they’d love to cheer the popular defender up a bit by booking a spot in the coveted first round proper.
Coventry said: “He’s a great character and it is a blow to lose him because he’s been improving every week since he came back and is an important part of our side.
“It would be great to win this game anyway because it is huge for us, but it would be especially good to win it for Steve and cheer him up a bit.”
Sheehan, who tweeted how much he appreciates all the support he’s received from the club, is expected to learn today how long the injury might keep him out for.
He will have an X-ray which will determine whether or not he needs an operation to help repair the break to the lower part of his fibula.
If the injury does not need to be pinned, he could recover in six to eight weeks, but if it does he will be out for much longer. Coventry said that, including Sheehan, he was lucky to have four good central defenders in his squad and that Spencer Harrison will now come into the defence alongside Simon Peddie.
The manager said he chose Harrison over Marc Gorbell because the former is a more natural replacement for Sheehan at right centre back.
Harrison played in Monday’s 5-0 defeat in the Ryman league cup at Aveley, but Coventry said he was not reading too much into a game in which he made 10 changes.
“Only Ryan Sammons played in that game from the team I put out on Saturday,” he said.
“And that was only because I wanted Spencer to play alongside the right-back he will be playing with.”
Even without the loss of Sheehan, tomorrow’s trip to a Chelmsford side who are currently fifth in the Conference South was always going to be a tough assignment.
The game will also bring East Thurrock up against their hugely influential former central midfielder Max Cornhill, who has seamlessly made the step up a level with the Clarets after joining them in May 2011.
Coventry said: “I always knew Max could play at a higher level. He’s a terrific player and one we will have to cope with if we are going to get a result here.
“But we believe in our own ability. I have the same squad here who went to Eastbourne at this stage of the competition last season and won.
“I think Eastbourne underestimated us a bit, which helped, but I don’t expect we’ll get that from Chelmsford because we played them in pre-season and they said some nice things about us. But it’ll be a good game and one I’m sure many people are looking forward to.”
East Thurrock have reached this stage of the competition after beating Witham Town, Kingstonian and Maidstone United in the earlier rounds.
Chelmsford have knocked out Leatherhead and Cray Wanderers.
Both sides are now potentially just 90 minutes away from going into Sunday’s first round proper draw along with sides from Leagues One and Two.
Kick-off at Chelmsford’s Melbourne Stadium tomorrow is at 3pm.