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Football: Ashley's first also his last for Paget; FA CUP.

Paget Rangers have had to rule out Kevin Ashley from playing any further part of their campaign after a single appearance.

The former Birmingham City and Wolves defender lined up in the weekend clash at Hinckley United but the pain of defeat was trebled by the pain of a nagging knee problem. The injury has been a long-standing one but now the 31-year-old has decided enough is enough.

'He played on Saturday but he phoned me again on Monday to say his knee was causing him so much grief that he was going to call it a day,' said manager Paul Madders. 'It's a blow for Kevin and for us because his experience would have been a big help.'

Paget have recruited former Bilston Town, Blakenall and Sutton Town defender Nigel Richards to fill the gap but he was signed too late to figure in tomorrow's FA Cup preliminary round tie at Cradley Town.

Players must be registered seven days in advance of the fixture so Madders also has to rule out newcomers Brett Fitzpatrick, from Solihull Borough, and Stuart Derby, a former Grimsby trainee.

Injuries mean Phil Rowe (ribs) and Lee Burchill (back) are also out but Madders expects to have Brad Lee and Dave Travis back in contention.

Solihull Borough could include Richard Beale for the first time this season in their home game with Central Midlands League side Mickleover Sports.

The front-runner has been coaching in America during the summer but Boro manager Dave Busst is confident he will be fit enough for inclusion in the first FA Cup-tie to be staged at Solihull's new Damson Park home.

Busst has already ruled out defender Ian Mitchell, who is at his brother John's wedding, while midfielder Nick Amos is still a week away from fitness after damaging his thigh against Redditch ten days ago.

Neil Manton, Gavin Stone and Leon Jackson face a fitness fight as Bilston Town look to maintain their unbeaten start with a home tie with Sandwell Borough.

Manton (groin), Stone (chest) and Jackson (leg) are on the casualty list after picking up knocks in Monday's win over Gresley Rovers, though the only definite absentee against the Alliance side will be the unavailable Mark Clifton.

Summer signing Michael Stephenson comes into contention for his Evesham United debut in their home clash with Bideford.

Former Shepshed Dynamo midfielder Stephenson has been away coaching in America and Robins manager Phil Mullen adds him to an otherwise unchanged squad.

Defender Paul West and forward Paul Burton - who have yet to play because of ankle and ribs injuries respectively - remain a couple of weeks away from fitness.

Redditch United hope to introduce Scott Colcombe for his belated debut against Arnold Town at the Valley Stadium.

The summer recruit from Blakenall has been absent from the Reds' first four games through holidays but he trained last night to put himself in contention.

Manager Rob Smith expects to have a full-strength squad at his disposal.
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Author:Non-League, Colin Stoner
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 1, 2000
Words:494
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