Spartans undone by second half double

Blyth Spartans AFC.
Blyth Spartans AFC.

Alun Armstrong was left ruing ‘the worst injury list’ he’s ever seen after Aaron Cunningham suffered an ankle injury in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Alfreton Town.

The Hartlepool United loanee – who has impressed during his three games in the side – was forced off with the score at 1-1 early in the second half, forcing a re-jig of the side.

“It’s looks like he’s rolled his ankle,” suggested Armstrong in his post-match interview. “I’d expect him to miss a few weeks at least.”

He’s not the first centre-back to go down with injury this season, Sam Brotherton suffered an injury in the season opener against Hereford – and only now has the full extent of the injury been disclosed.

“Sam had a scan earlier in the week and it looks like he’ll be out for at least two months, he’s suffered some ligament damage and will take a while to come.”

“I’ve never known such an injury list at any club I’ve been at as a player or a manager – we’ve got four central defenders out.”

Cunningham and Brotherton join Ryan Hutchinson in the treatment room, with Jordan Watson still returning from an ACL injury with a loan spell at Northern League side Sunderland RCA.

With Nathan Buddle the only recognised fit central defender on the books – like he was during the summer – Armstrong discussed the possibility of bringing someone else in.

“It’s all about the money,” Armstrong stated, with an exasperated expression on his face. “We simply don’t have it. I could bring in a central defender rather easily, but would they be capable of playing at this level? Not a chance!

“The defenders I wanted in the summer had a price on their head, we simply couldn’t afford to bring those players in and I was left to bring in loans.”

“We are now back to square one.”

In Saturday’s game, Spartans conceded two goals in as many minutes during the second half, scored by Tom Denton and Tom Platt, as Alfreton left Croft Park with all three points.

The visitors took the lead in the first half when the ever dangerous Denton scored from a corner after ten minutes.

Spartans showed some threat and Sean Reid had the ball in the net, only for the effort to be ruled out for offside, but on 24 minutes, they were awarded a penalty and Robbie Dale converted, but they were undone by the visitors’ second-half double.