Haverhill Borough suffered what some might call a nightmare start to the season with an injury to one of their key goalscorers — but new manager Anthony Choat is fairly relaxed about it.
He said it’s not all doom and gloom for the club following injury to Charlie Holmes in their first outing this season, against Cambridge City.
Holmes — the home side’s goal scorer in their 4-1 defeat — injured his right ankle in a tackle, and had to be substituted.
But Choat said it’s ‘not as bad as first feared’ and he hopes to have Holmes back in action in about three weeks.
“It looks like there’s no ligament damage and that it’s just a sprain,” he said.
“We were really worried when it happened because it follows last season’s injury, he was out for a while.
“The Cambridge City physio had a look at him 0n Saturday — we’re very grateful to him for taking the time — and said he’s twisted it, but that the damage isn’t worse.
“So he should be back within two to three weeks, once the bruising has gone down.
“That’s just football and the way it goes, it was an innocuous tackle but he got his ankle caught underneath him and rolled over on it.”
He said it was a good warning for the club and player, before the season gets going, that his ankle is weaker and needs added protection.
“We’ve added him to the list of players who get taped up before games, but injuries happen in football”, Choat said.
“It’s frustrating when they do, because you want to play your best team every week, but it’s unrealistic to think you can.
“Charlie being out is disappointing and frustrating, of course, but we’re confident we have players who can score plenty.
“Both Jarid Robson and Ryan Swallow scored more than 20 goals last season and from the midfield, so we don’t just rely on our strikers to score goals at Borough.”
But only Holmes was able to net against higher-league Cambridge City, who eased to victory in the Suffolk sunshine.
City boss Robbie Nightingale fielded a strong side, including their new signings.
On the artificial 3G pitch at The New Croft, City started the game most positively when Buster Harradine at the back post headed the ball across goal for former Royston player, Spyros Mentis, to convert.
Borough’s Holmes then replied, with a long range effort beating the goalkeeper and crossing the line off the inside of the post.
But it did not take long for City to restore their lead, going in 2-1 up at half-time.
Second-half goals from Alex Lyratzopolous and Josh Lowe for The Lilywhites ended the Haverhill challenge.
But Choat said the result was not important.
“It was about getting game time, having fun and, most importantly, watching how a team of City’s quality go about their business,” he said.
“They play similarly to us, and so it’s something we can aspire to.”