FOREST Green Rovers hope that top scorer Christian Doidge will be fit to return for tonight's Vanarama National League play-off semi-final against his former club Dagenham & Redbridge.
Ex-Carmarthen Town frontman Doidge has scored 25 league goals this season since moving from the Daggers, where he won player of the year and supporters' player of the year awards.
Doidge played in the Welsh league for Croesyceiliog and Cwmbran Celtic before joining Barry Town, where he top-scored in season 2011/12. A January 2013 signing for Carmarthen, he hit 17 WPL goals in season 2013/14 and attracted the attention of several clubs, completing a move to League Two with Dagenham in August 2014.
"Christian has had a bit of a stiff back. We couldn’t take any risks with him (on Saturday), says Rovers' boss Mark Cooper.
Meanwhile, another ex-WPL player, Alex Samuel, will miss Newport County's relegation decider against Notts County at the weekend. The 21-year-old Swansea City loanee and ex-Aberystwyth Town starlet has scored just two goals in 18 appearances since arriving at Rodney Parade in January, but has been a key part of the Newport County revival under caretaker manager Michael Flynn over the past two months.
Samuel was stretchered off with a hamstring injury during last week’s 2-1 defeat at Carlisle United. "Alex Samuel is out, which is a big miss for us," Flynn says. "He’s pulled his hamstring and it's a big loss for us.
"Even though he hasn’t scored enough, his energy and his work rate is phenomenal and it went through the team."