PETERSFIELD Town will be without the services of goalkeeper Matt Shortt for tonight’s game with Fleet Town (7.45pm) and at least a month after that, despite his opening-day heroics at the weekend.
The Rams’ shot stopper made several crucial saves to help his side earn a point at AFC Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday in their first game in Southern League division one central.
However, it was only after the game that he revealed he felt something snap in his ankle midway through the first half – having played through the pain to ensure Petersfield returned home with a point.
Hospital checks on Sunday revealed Shortt had a suspected fracture in his ankle, as well as ligament damage, and he now faces several weeks on the sidelines – including for tonight’s game at Love Lane.
Shortt said: ‘I felt my ankle go straight away.
‘I felt something snap but wanted to play through the pain to get what we deserved from the game.
‘When our physio Claire Bennett said I had to come off I was having none of it as I wanted to finish our first game in Southern League football.
‘I am absolutely gutted I am out now and I will be getting back as soon as I can.’
Shortt is the only new injury worry manager Ian Saunders faces going into tonight’s north Hampshire derby. Summer signing Howard Neighbour is still a few weeks off of being able to make his debut appearance.
Looking back at Saturday’s performance, Saunders said: ‘I was slightly disappointed to only come away with a draw.
‘We played some great football, especially in the second half and we got ourselves into a position to win the game.
‘It was disappointing to concede a goal from a long throw-in like we did.’
n In the Wessex League premier division last night, Fareham Town recorded an impressive 5-0 win against Cowes Sports.
Simon Woods and Ashley Tattersall bagged two goals apiece, with Callum Laycock also on target for the Reds.
Elsewhere, Graeme Rix’s AFC Portchester side drew 1-1 at home to Alresford Town.
That was a scoreline matched by Horndean on the Isle of Wight as they claimed a share of the spoils at Newport IW.
– GRAEME MOIR