'˜Nasty' double injury blow hits Havant & Waterlooville Christmas plan ahead of Eastleigh clash

Lee Bradbury was left fearing the impact of '˜serious-looking' injuries to two key man after the Hawks' valuable 1-1 Vanarama National League draw at Hartlepool United.

Sunday, 23rd December 2018, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:46 am
Alfie Rutherford picked up an injury against Hartlepool. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

It seems likely the price paid in picking up the vital point was a heavy one.

Two of Bradbury's most influential players, captain Brian Stock and leading goalscorer Alfie Rutherford, picked up injuries.

Stock limped off and Rutherford was stretchered off at the Victoria Ground.

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Both must be considered serious doubts for the games ahead.

The Hawks boss has seen his small squad already badly hit by injuries.

It is an added problem Bradbury can well do without during the busy run of festive matches.

He said: '˜We have to patch ourselves up and be ready to go again.

'˜The Boxing Day game against Eastleigh is another big one for us.

'˜Unfortunately the injuries we picked up weren't small and look nasty ones.

'˜Alfie Rutherford, who has been on fire for us, left the ground on crutches.

'˜We have to wait until his ankle has been looked at before knowing the extent of the damage.

'˜Stocky got hit in the face by the ball from close-range and twisted his knee as he went down.

'˜Neither will be fit for Boxing Day.

'˜Ed Harris should have come off for the final 10 minutes but soldiered on because we had used all our substitutes.'

Despite having to cope with the injury problems the visitors were more than good value for the draw.

Though happy to come away with another point on the road Bradbury knows they could easily have picked up all three.

They had the two best chances to win the game in the second half.

A terrific Rory Williams flew across the face of goal with two Hawks players narrowly missing making contact.

Then home goalkeeper Scott Loach was forced into a good save to deny Nicke Kabamba.

Earlier on debut-making Tyler Frost had given the Hawks a 12th-minute lead following a short corner routine.

The ball was worked to the Reading loanee and he found the far corner with a low shot across Loach.

Liam Noble, who scored twice for Pools in the first meeting at Westleigh Park, equalised six minutes later.

After working himself space on the edge of the Hawks area his shot took a slight deflection to wrong-foot keeper Ben Dudzinski.

With injuries disrupting his team Bradbury could take some encouragement from the performances of his two debut making players.

Hawks: Dudzinski, Strugnell, Williams, Harris, Cordner, Stock (Paul 44), Frost, A. Robinson, Kabamba, Rutherford (Wood 54), Lewis (Tarbuck 46).

Attendance: 3,024