Craig Martin given selection headache ahead of Longlevens’ big day in FA Cup

Longlevens First Team Manager Craig Martin faces a selection headache ahead of his side’s FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie with Portland United this weekend. 

Ahead of the game, Levens are only missing defender Ben Williams and goalkeeper Kane Winman, who was taken off injured in Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat at Fairford Town and Martin told Severn Sport that he has a near full squad to choose from.

“On Saturday I believe everyone will be available, Kane even said he will just deep heat it and he will be good to go. But after training on Thursday the only guaranteed absentees are Ben Williams who is work commitments and Kane  with a broken collarbone. One person who doesn’t want to play as they are still aching from Bank Holiday Monday is myself,” Martin said. 

I’m absolutely devastated for Kane he’s one of the most honest and nicest players you’re likely to come across. He’s had to wait for his opportunity and last Saturday away at Brackley he was immense.

The way the injury happened wasn’t good and I wish Kane all the best and hopefully he’s fully recovers,” Martin added. 

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Earlier this week it was confirmed right here on Severn Sport that Winman will be joining Ryan Butler for full live radio commentary of the game, after breaking his collarbone in a collision with Fairford striker Jon Thomas. 

In the game itself, Longlevens surrendered a 2-0 half time lead to Jody Bevan’s side and there was a feeling that Saturday’s FA Cup tie could have been a distraction, something that Martin dismisses.

“Tuesday’s result was disappointing and as soon as they came out and scored after five minutes into the second half I knew we were going to be up against it, knowing the quality they have in that Fairford squad. 

I don’t think Saturday’s game was a distraction because we always take it one game at a time, so the boys knew that and if anything it made them play that bit extra – especially in the first half.” Martin said.

Martin spoke to Severn Sport during Thursday night’s victory for Longlevens U18s in their very first Cheltenham Youth Floodlit League fixture, beating Lydney Town U18s 3-2.

Martin joined a whole host of Longlevens personnel, including Chairman Mark Cornell and Reserve Team manager Luke Kavanagh, in attendance as a Cam Blacker double and stunning Scott Dales effort saw the young side win in the club’s very first U18s fixture.

That has set the tone for a massive weekend for the whole club and social media has been rife with posts from all areas of the club promoting a “Club Day” for Longlevens, as they encourage as many people within the football club and local community to head to Saw Mills for Levens’ first ever appearance in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

When the draw was first made Martin issued a call to local football fans and the local community to support the club on their FA Cup journey.

Martin said “we are calling for all of the local community to come and share this special occasion with us, as it’s a moment of history for us as a small club. It’s our chance to show everybody what we are made of and to see what we can achieve.” 

Longlevens host Portland United in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round at Saw Mills; kick off at 15:00. If you can’t make the game you will be able to listen to the game in full live on Severn Sport

READ MORE: Check out the full list of fixtures in and around Gloucestershire this weekend right here