Liam Shipton is back from injury for Magpies Crusaders.
Liam Shipton is back from injury for Magpies Crusaders. Contributed

Star midfielder returns but at cost of top scorer

MAGPIES Crusaders will welcome back two key cogs, but lose perhaps their biggest chess piece, for tomorrow's crunch away clash with Gold Coast United at Tallebudgera.

Dynamic midfielder Liam Shipton is expected to play after missing the previous month with an injured hamstring and will be joined by full back Nelson Burgess, who missed the 7-1 loss to Peninsula Power last weekend.

The two experienced campaigners will bring much-needed solidarity to the Mackay squad chasing a crucial win over a down on form Gold Coast United.

However coach Henry Kennell will need to find another avenue to goal with striker Michael Lyall ruled out due to the red card he received against Power.

Kennell preferred to talk up the inclusion of his two star players rather than the loss of his skipper.

Magpies Crusaders skipper Michael Lyall will miss the match after receiving a red card against Peninsula Power last weekend.
Magpies Crusaders skipper Michael Lyall will miss the match after receiving a red card against Peninsula Power last weekend. Alison Langevad Photography

Shipton and new recruit Eduardo Castaneda will combine in midfield for the first time and Kennell was understandably excited at the prospect.

"He's brilliant,” the coach said of Castaneda.

"Having players like Eddy relieves pressure off other players. The position he plays is similar to Liam - they've got that little bit of x-factor they bring to the team.”

Mackay must keep banking points when possible if they are to avoid relegation.

Gold Coast have failed to snag a win in their past four matches and appear vulnerable.

National Premier Leagues Queensland Round 24

Saturday (4pm) - Magpies Crusaders v Gold Coast United at Coplick Family Sports Park, Tallebudgera



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