CIRENCESTER TOWN boss Brian Hughes faces an injury crisis ahead of his third clash in eight days with Abingdon United on Saturday.

Having drawn against the Oxfordshire outfit in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday, Town then trounced them 3-1 in Tuesday night’s replay, the architect of the success being Carl Brown.

But the 21-year-old striker was forced off the field with a knee injury five minutes after the second of his magnificent goals and remains a doubt for the league match on Saturday.

The same goes for centre forward Jody Bevan, who sat out the replay with a hamstring strain, and Tom Etheridge, who had to be substituted against Abingdon with a rib problem Hughes will definitely be without influential midfielder Jamie Reid, who begins a three-match ban on Saturday.

The boss has also lost the services of ex-Bristol City pair Nick Dunn and Chris Williams, while squad members James Robbins (Hook Norton) and Craig Curtis (Fairford Town) are currently getting games elsewhere.

Dunn is finding himself out of pocket travelling from Bristol three times a week and fellow teenager Williams has therefore lost his lift.

"I am good friends with Richard Thompson at Almondsbury Town and I hoping he will take the boys for a month, after which we will have another look at the situation," said Hughes.

"We are now short on numbers – I used three of the Academy kids (Rob Hoskin, Liam Williams and Jack Hopper) against Abingdon – so I am looking to bring in a couple of players by the weekend."

The manager is understandably keen to maintain Cirencester’s excellent start to the season – they have lost just once in ten competitive outings.

At least, Hughes can call on the services of Ryan Parker on Saturday, the winger having been Cup-tied for the two previous Abingdon games.

"I call Ryan my pocket secret weapon," said Hughes. "He is tiny, but we have managed to get him kitted out with an U11s track suit!"