HORSHAM FC are set to be without Ryan Woodford for another lengthy period after the skipper injured himself during Saturday’s 5-1 humbling at home to Cray Wanderers.
The injury happened when Woodford threw himself into a challenge to prevent a goal, although as he lay in a heap the rest of the Hornets defence were statuesque as Leigh Bremner put the visitors 2-1 ahead and from there Horsham collapsed.
Woodford has only just returned from a back injury he picked up in the second match of the season and after missing the end of the last campaign with a broken foot it looks like more bad news for the midfielder.
“He’s got his leg in plaster unfortunately and it will be for the next nine days,” said Hornets boss Hugo Langton. “The plaster will be off a week on Wednesday and then we’ll get a better idea what’s wrong.
“It’s not broken but it could be ligament damage, as I say we’ll know more a week on Wednesday but it’s an enormous blow. But he’s a fit and strong lad who never gives up, that’s why he’s my captain and he’s the sort of bloke who is told he’s out for two months but comes back in six weeks.
“What a challenge he put in though, he threw himself in to stop a certain goal but unfortunately the rest just stood around and watched as the lad stuck it in the net and that summed up our second half performance on Saturday.”
Ray Freeman’s fortuitous goal two minutes after half-time had restored parity after Mark Willy’s first-half opener for Cray but Bremner’s strike, a brace from Danny Phillips and a fifth from Tony Dolby subjected Horsham to their 14th league defeat of the season.
Langton was deeply unhappy with the effort shown from the majority of his players and after a lengthy talk with them after the match he said some now have just three games to prove they belong at this level.
Langton said: “What happened in the last 30 minutes was inexplicable. We weren’t organised, had no shape, no desire, no heart and no belly and no team of mine plays without those attributes.
“I didn’t recognise the team, it was like watching 11 players I have never seen before with the exception of Ray Freeman, who played well and Jake Jacobs who did OK. The rest have to ask themselves why are they here.
“We have all agreed that the next three games, starting with Littlehampton, will be crucial. For some players it’s make or break, they need to prove to themselves and the Horsham supporters they are worthy of wearing the shirt, because I’m not afraid to make changes.”
Langton is expecting to complete the signing of a striker who is a “big prospect in football”, and who “destroyed Horsham in pre-season” later today to provide more support for the likes of Freeman and Tony Nwachukwu.
With a number of players out for tomorrow’s trip to Littlehampton in the Sussex Senior Cup, Langton will also play a centre half who has asked for a chance to play for the club.