Black injury woe

Neil Black suffers shoulder injury''Bamber Bridge Vs Skelmersdale''Pix by Stefan Willougby
Neil Black suffers shoulder injury''Bamber Bridge Vs Skelmersdale''Pix by Stefan Willougby

Bamber Bridge star Neil Black faces two months on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder against Skelmersdale.

Manager Tony Greenwood says his star player even tried to carry on playing after he heard the shoulder ‘pop back in’ but then it dislocated for a second time and he had to go off.

Brig grabbed a point against Skelmerdale in a 0-0 draw but then made the long journey to Durham on Monday and lost 2-1 on the plastic pitch.

Greenwood said it was a disappointing return for their efforts but admitted the injury to Black was particularly frustrating.

He said: “It’s a massive blow. He’d started scoring a few goals and now he’s out for six-eight weeks.

“He landed awkwardly on his shoulder and felt it go. It popped back in but once he started running again it dislocated for a second time.

“It’s the way it’s going for us. The squad is a bit bear at the moment.”

Goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe suffered a badly swollen ankle in the cup win at Clitheroe before Christmas but is hoping to be back for Saturday’s game with Harrogate.

Hinchliffe’s replacement - Lee Dovey - was left red-faced on Monday when he was beaten from near the half way line at Durham City.

Greenwood admitted: “I don’t know what Lee was thinking about. He’s been done from about 40 yards.

“Their lad has seen our keeper off his line and shot. It was a good goal.

“From our point of view it was a simple goal to give away and then they scored another.

“They adapted to the plastic better than we did.

“We’ve got an inexperienced side and it showed on the plastic.”

Greenwood said he was encouraged by the display against Skelmersdale on Saturday when they managed to restrict their opponents to a rare blank in front of goal.

“I think it was the first time (in a long time) that they’d not scored,” he said. “If we’d got a win at Durham it would have been a decent New Year with four points but we weren’t able to do it.”

The manager said there was still a huge amount to play for as Brig close in on a play-off place.

Of more immediate concern is Bamber Bridge’s game with Radcliffe Borough in the semi-final of the Lancashire Football Association Challenge Trophy on Wednesday January 12.

The game takes place at the Lancashire FA Headquarters at the County Ground, Leyland with the final being at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium.

Greenwood: “Hopefully the players will be pulling out all the stops to keep the shirt.”