Early injury crisis bites hard for New Mills as they lose heavily at Abbey Hey

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Injury-stricken New Mills go into a busy week of two more games still searching for their first win of the season with just two points to show for their first five NWC Division One South outings.

Twice on Saturday they let the lead slip to draw 2-2 at Cheadle Heath Nomads before a 5-0 spanking at early leaders Abbey Hey on Tuesday and joint boss Dave Birch said: “The result was no surprise on Tuesday with where we are at.

“It's been one thing after another and we are absolutely miles away – I know that. It's not for the want of trying.

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“We have suspensions, holidays and a massive injury list. You couldn't write it. And they are all key players in key positions.

Dylan Forth - playing on through injury. Photo by John Fryer.Dylan Forth - playing on through injury. Photo by John Fryer.
Dylan Forth - playing on through injury. Photo by John Fryer.

“We have lost both centre halves, your central midfielder, both centre forwards and your keeper all within four games of the start of the season.

“I don't care what level you play at or who you are. You're going to be in trouble if that happens – and we are. But we have just got to ride it out, work hard and bring people in.

“It is difficult at the minute as the market has been inflated massively for some reason. It is tough at the moment.”

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He continued: “My keeper and captain Dylan Forth has been injured, so we brought another keeper in from Abbey Hey. He broke his wrist in training after a week, is out for the season and needs an operation.

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“Dylan is helping us out by strapping himself up and playing. But he is injured and falling to bits.

“I have lost both my centre halves. One is suspended and now going away on honeymoon for three weeks too, so I have lost him for 10 games.

“My other is on holiday and another centre half has left the club.

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“When Dylan was injured we made central midfielder Jordan Milne the captain, but he snapped his cruciate last week and is out for the season.

“My centre forward Kyle Hawley broke his foot in pre-season after only 10 minutes and is out.

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“We have signed another centre forward but can't get international clearance for him. We're still waiting for that.

“I brought a young lad in last night, Josh Pearson, and after 10 minutes he was carried off and looks like he will be out for the season with a really bad ankle injury.

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“My right winger has decided to retire too. We are absolutely all over the show.

“But I am not one for making excuses nor am I one for feeling sorry for myself.”

On the defeat at Abbey Hey, he said: “We were 4-0 down at half-time. We defended horrifically for 10 minutes, got punished and went 3-0 down.

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“It was men v boys for the rest of the half and we gave them a few home truths.

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“With all the players we have missing, all I can ask of them is to give 100 per cent and I don't think they did first half. A lot of the young lads crumbled a bit.

“Second half we were the better team and had very good chances to get it back to 4-3, but didn't.

“Then we scored an own goal right at the death. Maybe they took their foot off the gas and we had a bit of a go. But ultimately we paid the price for our inexperience.”

New Mills host a visit by Brocton on Saturday before travelling to Alsager Town on Tuesday.

“It never stops in this league. It doesn't give you time to reflect, rebuild and bring a few in. You're working against the clock all the time,” said Birch.