BALTI Sports’ boss Marco Nott is dealing with a raft of player absences ahead of his side’s Dorset Premier League trip to Merley Cobham Sports tomorrow (2pm).

As many as six players could be missing from the Balti ranks, but Nott could be boosted by the return of Ashley Batchelor from a long-term injury.

He told Echosport: “Carl McClements is away for two weeks, Josh Houghton is playing darts. Matt Roberts (achilles) is still injured, Phil Anderson is struggling with a back injury and Ethan Devaney is unavailable. 

“Scott Walker is unavailable for two weeks. He works in the marines and got called somewhere for two weeks. 

“But Oscar is back and we’re hoping Ashley is back. We’ll go easy on him, he’s been out for so long, we’ve got to ease him into it.”

Nott has plenty of respect for Merley, with ex-Dorchester Town striker Matt Groves in their ranks, and has his sights set on addressing Sports’ poor recent form that has seen them go seven league games without a win. 

“They’re always tight games. They’re quite an experienced side with Matt. It’s a nice pitch and we seem to play well up there, we had that cup game and (won 2-1). 

“Our form in general concerns me, we definitely could do with a win. It’s been a stop-start season,” he said. 

Nott also revealed his players are eager to play after suffering three postponements so far this year. 

He said: “Last Saturday we got all the way down to the changing rooms and didn’t know whether to get changed or not.

“The lads are certainly looking forward to it.”