Knaresborough Town's injury crisis showing no signs of easing
Knaresborough Town’s injury crisis shows no signs of easing any time soon.
Manager Rob Hunter has been without all three of his senior centre-halves in recent weeks and results have suffered as a consequence.
Boro won their first three NCEL Premier Division matches of 2021/22 without shipping a single goal but have gone on to lose four in a row in all competitions, conceding 13 times in the process.
“It’s certainly affected our form after the good start we made,” Hunter said.
“When we lost 4-3 at Grimsby Borough last Saturday we were missing all three of our central defenders and both full-backs.
“Cameron Bedford and Craig Ramplin have also been unavailable through injury and to make matters worse, we lost Dom Creamer and Sean Hunter at Garforth at the weekend.
“This is a really serious injury crisis and it can be quite demoralising for the lads, but we just have to get through it.
“The one positive is that we don’t have a game this weekend, so it gives us a bit of extra time to try and get some of the lads fit in time for Eccleshill next Tuesday.”
Experienced centre-back Gregg Anderson could return for that game on September 14, though Hunter only rates his chances of being able to play as “fifty-fifty”.
He added: “Gregg might be okay, but we’ll have to see. It will probably be a game too soon for Greg Kidd and I think Sam Cook, our third centre-half, is probably still two weeks away.”
The one upside of the absence of Anderson, Kidd and Cook has been the emergence of young defender Lewis Dobson, whom Hunter has promoted from Boro's reserve team.
"Lewis is only 18, but he has come in and done very well," the Town chief said.
"I went to watch him last season at Knaresborough Celtic. He was playing at left-back. To have gone from playing at that level to Knaresborough Town's first team is a big, big jump.
"But, the pleasing thing is how well he has been performing and he's had this opportunity because of all the injury problems we're having to deal with.
"I think we've given four lads first-team debuts in the last two games and this will be a good experience for them all. We are one club, there's no point having a reserve team if I'm not going to give players the chance to step up."
But, on the injuries picked up by midfielder Creamer and striker Sean Hunter during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Garforth, boss Hunter only had bad news to share.
“Dom has done his knee and I think it will be long-term," he added.
"Sean tore his calf, so that’s a minimum of six weeks."