Sleights horror injury victim insists team-mates carry on

A SLEIGHTS footballer who suffered a suspected broken leg in a sickening collision insisted his team-mates continue the match so they could collect their first points of the season.

Ben Alston netted Sleights’ third goal against Seamer after he beat the onrushing keeper to the ball, but the keeper’s momentum took him into a sickening collision with Alston at full pace.

The game was held up for several minutes late in the first half as paramedics treated the striker on the pitch, before taking him to hospital.

Often local games are abandoned after such serious injuries, but Alston insisted his team-mates play on.

Manager James Howard told the Whitby Gazette: “This was another good, solid performance and result achieved today, but definitely tainted by a sickening injury to Ben.

“He was fantastic before he was forced off the pitch, with his speed a massive problem for Seamer.

“Everybody at Sleights FC wishes him a speedy recovery and we will do all we can to help him with that.

“I’d like to thank the paramedics for their speedy assistance and the referee who acted way beyond his years with what was a tricky situation.”

Looking solid all over the pitch from the start, Sleights broke down their opponents when the ball fell to Mark McCarthy on the edge of the box and he lashed it low past the helpless keeper for 1-0.

The next 10 minutes was all Seamer, but Andy Hardy and Lee Graham stood firm at the back, with Coulson looking impressive with his handling.

Sleights got a second when Alston sprinted away from his marker to put in a great cross that was turned into the net by an unfortunate, covering defender. Alston then netted the third before his injury and Sleights clinched the game on 70 minutes when substitute Paul Hicks nodded home just seconds after coming on.

The visitors made changes, using the long ball and replying with two goals in 10 minutes. But Sleights finished strongly with McCarthy twice coming close. Ian Smith and player-boss Jim Howard also tested the visitors’ defence.

Late on, Howard’s pinpoint cross was glanced home by teenager Woodhouse, only for the referee to rule it offside.

After last week’s 9-1 thumping of FC Filey was also chalked off following their resignation from the league, it was Sleights’ first official points of the season.

Sleights FC: Coulson, Graham, Howard, Hardy, Locker, Webster, I Smith, Fawcett, T Smith (Woodhouse 75), McCarthy (Hicks 70), Alston (Ingham 40). Matchball sponsor: Fletcher & Woodhouse; man of the match: Mark McCarthy.