Matlock Town received another body blow on the injury front on Tuesday night with a second key defender set to be out for the rest of the season.
Centre half David Haggerty broke bones around his eye in the 2-0 home defeat to Stafford Rangers a fortnight ago and now full back Micky Harcourt will be on the sidelines after limping off just 13 minutes into the draw with Rushall Olympic.
Harcourt was off to hospital and Matlock fear that their consistent full back, another member of an outstanding defensive unit this term, has suffered a hairline fracture of his leg. He was already struggling with an ankle injury but with the Gladiators small squad, was prepared to turn out.
“We had a chat beforehand and we agreed that he’d give it a go, but then he got this injury and he’s going to have an X-ray at the hospital. But it doesn’t look good and we suspect it might be a broken leg,” said Gladiators manager Mark Atkins.
The Matlock chief will accelerate plans to add to his squad after watching his side draw 0-0 at Barwell last weekend. Chesterfield central defender Jack Broadhead, who has already had spells at Buxton and Worksop Town this season was expected to move to Matlock on loan for the rest of the campaign while full back Jordan Jones, recently released by Mansfield Town, signed at the Rushall game.
Atkins said: “There could be one or two more in the next couple of days. I wasn’t pleased at all with us on Saturday, some didn’t look up for it and I’m not prepared to let the season die on us, so I’ve made a lot of calls in the last few days to add to what is basically a very small squad.”
Atkins said it was ‘vital’ that the Gladiators got some reward from Tuesday’s Rushall clash and he was also pleased that the Gladiators halted their scoreless run, having not found the net in the previous three and a half league matches.
“We needed to get something for the last three games hadn’t been good, collecting just the one point,” he said. “It was an important game against a very strong Rushall side who know what they’re doing and we fully deserved our point.
“With Shaun not being in the team the goals haven’t flowed and we haven’t created that many chances apart from against Stafford. But I was so pleased with our effort and determination on Tuesday. You have to stand up and be counted against sides like Rushall, play them at their game to an extent, but also try and play your football. I thought we did that and kept our values of trying to play in the right way.”
The games don’t get any easier for Atkins’ men who on Saturday take on in form FC United of Manchester at Bury’s Gigg Lane before welcoming play off chasing Blyth Spartans to the Autoworld Arena on Tuesday night.
United’s midweek 5-2 win at Witton Albion was their tenth successive full points haul and took them to the top of the table, although former leaders Chorley might have regained first place if they avoided defeat at sixth placed Ashton United on Wednesday.
“FC United are on a great run so yes it’s going to be a tremendously difficult game but we go there with nothing to lose,” added Atkins. “It’s a great place to go and play and we’ll try for an upset in what will be a great atmosphere. It’s a chance again for our players to show like they’ve done previously this season, that they’re good enough to compete with the top sides in this division.”
David Haggerty watched Tuesday’s game and received good news this week when he was told that he should not require surgery to recover from his injury.