Crawley are expected to complete the signing of Millwall striker Aiden O’Brien on loan until the end of the season this morning.
The Republic of Ireland under-21 international could go straight into the team for tonight’s Sussex Senior Cup third round tie at Newhaven if the deal goes through without any snags.
Reds boss Richie Barker is keen to increase his firepower after being forced to terminate the loan of Huddersfield striker Jimmy Spencer last week due to a persistent knee injury.
O’Brien, 19, has made just one first team appearance for Millwall, coming on as a substitute in a League Cup tie in September 2011, and had spells at non-league outfits Staines Town and Hayes & Yeading last season. He scored twice on his debut for Republic of Ireland Under-21s against Netherlands last week.
Barker is also expected to give January signings Connor Essam and Johnny Maddison their first taste of action in a Crawley shirt against County League division two outfit Newhaven. David Hunt, Dannie Bulman, Lateef Elford-Alliyu, Jonte Smith and Sergio Torres – who have all featured for the first team this season - are also set to start the game with the rest of the side made up of youth team players.
Defender Kyle McFadzean is not deemed ready to make his comeback from a virus which has kept him out since November while Barker is unwilling to risk picking up any injuries to players who started in Saturday’s defeat at Scunthorpe despite not having a league game until Monday’s televised clash with Doncaster.
Barker said: “It will be a good opportunity for those who have not featured much recently to get some minutes under their belt. With the schedule we have got coming up in the next few months we will need all of them.”
The winners of tonight’s match will face a trip to Peacehaven or Hastings United in the quarter-finals.