AN INJURY to Danny Allen, which will keep him out of action for at least six weeks, was the bad news that greeted Hadleigh United manager Stuart Crawford on his return from a weekend away.
Allen suffered a broken metatarsal, just minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute in Hadleigh’s 4-2 win at Grundisburgh.
“It’s a blow for us, and for Danny, who has done all the pre-season work,” said Crawford. “And this leaves us a little light up front.”
With Ben Deacon away until the end of August, and James Blades starting a two-week holiday tomorrow, Crawford will have to mix and match when Hadleigh travel to Norwich United on Saturday for their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division opener.
Neil Calver missed Saturday’s game with an ankle injury, but played on Tuesday, and Crawford hopes he will be fit to play up front at Norwich.
“We’ve done okay with injuries, until Saturday. We’ve tried to get everyone through pre-season without getting injured.”
Scott Chaplin, who has played in just two of the pre-season games, looks likely to start up front at Norwich.
Crawford is generally happy with way pre-season has gone. “We’ve played some nice football, and got results, apart from a blip against Leiston,” he said. “But apart from Leiston we haven’t played teams from a higher level.”
Hadleigh will travel to Norwich looking for three points, although Crawford acknowledges the opposition is an unknown quantity following the influx of several new players.
Felixstowe and Walton he expects to be a tough test when they visit The Millfield on Tuesday night. “They have signed a lot of good players. It will be a tough game.
“But it’s exciting times, and fingers crossed we can get off to a good start.”
n Hadleigh ended their pre-season games with a 4-3 win against Whitton United at The Millfield on Tuesday. Hadleigh’s goals came from Neil Calver, Matt Buckle, Scott Chaplin and Mark Gaisford.