STRIKER Elliot Benyon will play no part in Torquay United's big FA Cup second round tie against Walsall at Plainmoor tomorrow — but not because of a loan transfer deadline day move.
The Gulls rejected another late offer for wanted man Benyon, and manager Paul Buckle confirmed that his top-scorer was going nowhere before the 5pm shut-off of yesterday's November loan window.
However the 23-year-old will miss tomorrow's game through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season while celebrating his goal in Tuesday night's 3-1 win at Wycombe Wanderers.
Swindon Town, Southend United and Dagenham & Redbridge were among the clubs linked with a move for Benyon this week — a loan with a view to a permanent transfer in January.
"We received another offer for Elliot (on Wednesday evening), but the board have been great and said I didn't need to sell him at the moment," said Buckle.
"We talked about the figure offered for him and it's not enough.
"Nobody will be getting Elliot Benyon's services this season unless they can come up with the right money, and fair money, for us.
"Elliot has been here for as long as I have. We've put an awful lot of effort into developing him, and he's turning into a very good player."
A lot of people in Wycombe's ground missed Benyon's booking on Tuesday night — he didn't remove his shirt, but instead celebrated with the Gulls fans behind the goal after his 87th minute strike.
It means Buckle will be forced into at least one change up front, with Billy Kee or Martin Gritton among his options.
One player who did leave Plainmoor yesterday was central defender Kieran Charnock who, as expected, has agreed a loan move to Morecambe until January 4.
However Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Ashley Hemmings has extended his loan spell with the Gulls, and he's also available for selection against Walsall tomorrow.
With a lucrative place in the FA Cup third round potentially just 90 minutes away, Buckle is hoping his side will be roared on by a packed Plainmoor.
"I'm really hoping we get a good crowd into Plainmoor tomorrow," he said.
"I'm asking all the Torquay fans who come and watch us now and then to turn out on Saturday and support the team, because it is a big game for the football club.
"The rewards are great. If we can get into the third round it means more prize-money for the club, and the opportunity of a really big Premier League side when the draw is made on Sunday.
"We've got a home game against a side in a higher division, but with the Plainmoor crowd behind the team we have giant-killed before.
"It's a massive game for all of us, and I'm looking for a big effort from everybody — the players, the staff, myself and the fans."
Walsall go into this tie after winning only twice — one a Cup replay (2-0) over Fleetwood — in their last nine games.
Sheffield Wednesday beat them 3-0 at Hillsborough in midweek, and the Saddlers are already seven points adrift of safety in League One.
Manager Chris Hutchings has had to cope with considerable injury problems, starting in September when experienced striker Darren Byfield (knee) dropped out.
Loan signings include former Plymouth starlet and Gulls loanee Reuben Reid from WBA and Liam Dickinson from Barnsley.
They're both strikers, but Hutchings is also hoping that midfielder Martin Devaney, another on loan from Barnsley, might be back from injury.
At full strength Walsall ought to be good enough to stay up.
So if this tie is important to United and Buckle, it is just as crucial to the Saddlers and Hutchings.
The FA Cup 'score' between the clubs is 1-1, United winning 2-0 at the old Fellows Park in 1978 and Walsall winning an extraordinary replay 8-4 in extra time at the Bescot Stadium in 1995.