Hartlepool v AFC Telford: Marcus Dinanga missing out on Pools return
AFC Telford United will be without marquee signing Marcus Dinanga for tomorrow’s FA Trophy trip to Hartlepool.
The 21-year-old striker is cup-tied after playing for the Pools, where he spent the first half of this season on loan before signing for the Bucks on an 18-month deal, at Leamington in the previous round.
Of course, Gavin Cowan would have liked for Dinanga, who scored 25 goals while on loan at Telford last campaign, to be available.
But the recent performances of top scorer Daniel Udoh, Amari Morgan-Smith and Andre Brown mean he is not too worried.
Morgan-Smith or Brown are expected to lead the line alongside Udoh at the Super 6 Stadium.
Cowan said: “We haven’t got Marcus, but we’ve still got an abundance of options.
“I’m really lucky in that respect. We brought in Marcus to add more strength up top, but we were already strong in attack.
“Andre came off the bench and scored against Nuneaton on New Year’s Day, and Amari did well when he came on against Spennymoor last weekend.
“He came on and gave us that freshness which we needed.
“All of them, Daniel as well, are confident and playing well.”
Goalkeeper Josef Bursik is also cup-tied, after playing for Hednesford in the competition earlier this campaign.
Hartlepool, who play in the division above and are managed by former Walsall boss Richard Money, are set to be without their star striker. Liam Noble, who has chipped in with 12 goals, is set to spend six weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury. But, similarly to Cowan with Dinanga, Money is confident others will step up to the task in his absence.
“I think he first felt it in the Gateshead game but we’ve been trying to manage it,” said Money.
"But it’s obviously got worse since then so we felt it necessary to get the scan done and now we know we’re without him for a period.
"The good thing is we do have options in that position so it gives somebody else a chance to come in and show me what they can do.”
Telford have reached this stage of the competition, the second round proper, by beating Darlington and Farsley Celtic. The winner of the tie will receive £7,000.