BRIGHOUSE Old Boys manager Phil Garbe was yesterday rocked by the news his influential captain James Fletcher could be out for the season.
Ahead of Saturday’s all important away game at Old Headingley (2.30pm) Fletcher called his manager to say he damaged an ankle playing six-a-side football on Monday and could not put any weight on it.
“He has been to the hospital and there is no break but obviously ligaments and tendons are damaged and there is swelling,” said Garbe.
“To make matters worse he did it in a tackle with our own centre back Luke Johnson, who was on the other side.
“The only saving grace, and to be positive, is that I have Rob Kenny back in contention who has been suffering with hamstring problems but is now fit and raring to go.
“Starting Saturday we have six games to go and once again it is the old cliché of take them one at a time.
“Robin Hood did us a great favour and, themselves, beating Kippax 2-1 and we are now just three points behind the league leaders with two games in hand.
“All the fixtures are out now and it as if the West Yorkshire League committee fancy seeing a possible title decider on the last day of the season, May 6, as we have been handed an away game at Kippax.
“One hopes it can have been wrapped up by then but there will be plenty of twists and turns, as they say, before that date next month.
“We have never played at Old Headingley before. They were already in Division One when we came into the league and since then have been playing in the Premier Division before being relegated last term.
“They are having a mixed season and are in the bottom half of the table, but it is interesting to note that they have only been losing by the odd goal, so it will be another close one,” said Garbe
“Their pitch, just off the Bradford to Leeds road near the Territorial Army Barracks, is a wide one but it slopes sideways and they will be adjusted to it from the off.
“In my absence last week my assistant Julian Prior did a great job as it’s not easy running the ship on one’s own and Baildon Athletic, with games in hand, said they were determined to stay up and gave us a really tough game.
“We are going for out 14th league win on the bounce on Saturday and a major part of that great run has been staying away from a cartload of injuries.
“You can’t stop amateur lads playing some social football but knowing James, as I do, he will be beating himself up over this now,” said Garbe.
The Old Boys second team temporarily lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with their 8-2 win over Whitkirk Reserves but Sherburn won on Monday night to put them back where they were at 2.30pm last Saturday.
They have a game in hand over their fellow relegation candidates and have seven matches to play to climb up the table. Two go down and four points separate the bottom four clubs.
On Saturday they entertain their bogey side Knaresborough Res (2.30pm) who are second in table.
The Halifax League Division One side entertain Ryburn United Res (2.30pm), who are in mid-table.