MANAGER John Snape insisted he had no regrets over sending out Worcester City’s young guns for game time last weekend – despite an injury to James Baldwin.

Baldwin was one of a handful of players to turn out for West Midlands (Regional) League clubs, scoring one goal and setting up another in Pershore Town's 4-3 win over Pegasus Juniors, but he returned to City with an ankle complaint.

Snape reckons his wide man is unlikely to feature in tomorrow’s home Midland Football League Premier Division clash against promotion chasers Walsall Wood (3pm) as a result but is not looking back in anger.

“James picked up an ankle injury last week and may not be risked due to the potential implications of it,” said Snape.

“He had not played for a few weeks and we discussed him getting some game time. It is something that has kicked us in the teeth and it will be reviewed with the players going forward.

“I like to have a stepping stone for the lads from the under-21s and the younger players in senior squad as well. The West Midlands League offers that chance for them to get used to senior football.

“For some of them, the jump is too big or they might need the boost of a few minutes somewhere. It is all about progress and playing.”

Captain Jordan Stoddart misses out due to a one-match ban but he would have been out anyway due to a hamstring injury picked up in the 2-0 win at Coventry United on the Saturday after Christmas.

“He has taken part in some light training. We will see what happens ahead of Tuesday with him,” added Snape.

Luke English could make his long-awaited return having emerged unscathed from 45 minutes for the reserves on Saturday, a match which saw Liam Lockett notch twice in a 6-0 win over Wyrley reserves.

Wood sit second in the table and had been on a good run until the past week. Defeats at AFC Wulfrunians and Coventry United saw them fall seven points behind leaders Ilkeston Town with Snape wary of a backlash.

“Walsall Wood are up there for the right reasons,” he said.

“They have an established, well-known manager (ex-Aston Villa striker Darren Byfield) who knows the game inside out and it will be good to pit our wits against them.

“No doubt they will be hurting from two disappointing results but it just goes to show how everyone is beating everyone else in this league. If you don’t respect it, you get your backside smacked.

“We expect it to be a physical encounter but want to get it down and play. That has been our focus for the past couple of weeks in training, getting the ball on the floor and moving it into good areas.”