Struggling United dig out the cotton wool

Impressive: Isaac Philpott made his debut in the 1-0 win over Concord Rangers on Monday             All pictures: Paul Loughlin

Impressive: Isaac Philpott made his debut in the 1-0 win over Concord Rangers on Monday All pictures: Paul Loughlin

First published in Sport This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Sutton United boss Paul Doswell is wrapping up his stars in cotton wool ahead of the Skrill South play-offs.

United go to Whitehawk on Saturday for the final game of the regular season knowing anything other than a heavy defeat will see them finish second in the table.

Their position of comfort came on the back of two Easter weekend wins over Concord Rangers (1-0) and at Bishop’s Stortford (2-1).

However, Doswell went into the weekend missing injured defenders Charlie Clough, Dale Binns and Will Spetch.

And he came out of the weekend having lost two more from the back line as Simon Downer (ankle) and Louis John (hamstring) hobbled off.

On Monday, against Concord Rangers, Doswell called on youth prospect Isaac Philpot for his debut in defence, while Ben King, who made the step up from the youth team last month, also featured.

Alongside them were Michael Spillane and Lee Sawyer – and the quartet are likely to remain this weekend.

Doswell said: “Charlie and Will are 50-50 for the play-offs, Dale is more likely and Louis could be back for the second leg.

“Simon should be OK but we cannot afford to risk him at Whitehawk.”

He added: “We have an obligation to the league and the teams trying to get into the play-offs to put out as strong a side as possible, but we have got to wrap up the back four in cotton wool.

“I think we’ll be playing Havant & Waterlooville, but in truth no one knows, and whoever we face it will be tough.

“For me, if you finish second in the table you deserve to go up, it is madness to have only one team promoted automatically.”

Regardless of the destination of the play-off semi-final first leg on April 30, United are laying on coaches.

For further information, go to suttonunited.net.

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Defensive reign: Ben King in action against Rangers

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On target: Gavin McCallum fires United's equaliser in the 2-1 win at Bishop's Stortford

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Bang! Craig Dundas hits the winner for United at Stortford

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