Injury nightmare for Hornets as Oliver gets that Friday feeling

Hebburn Town boss Scott Oliver has that Friday feeling when his side take on Whickham tonight.

Friday, 1st April 2016, 5:14 am
Channon North

The Hornets return to action just 48 hours after beating Brandon United 4-3 on Wednesday night.

The quick turnaround isn’t ideal for Oliver, who has seen his side decimated by injuries this season – and no more so than the last month.

It has left Oliver scratching around for a team and having to call in favours from players, as well as nursing some of his men through games with knocks and niggles.

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He hopes to be able to get a squad of 13 up to the Glebe tonight to take on Whickham in their Northern League Division Two clash.

Oliver said: “It was a fantastic win at Brandon on Wednesday night.

“We had the bare 11 and young Josh Rodgers on the bench.

“No team can handle the amount of injuries we have and pick up regular results. Craig Malley was ruled out for two months with a hamstring injury but had to play the full game on Wednesday and was superb.

“Mick Watson, Alan Pegram, Lee McMahon, Chris Smith, James Talbot and Brian Johnson are all out injured for tonight’s game. We lost Mick Watson in the warm up on Wednesday night with a groin injury.”

Despite the injury nightmare, there is some positive news for Oliver in the shape of top goalscorer and captain Channon North.

the big frontman has been struggling all season with a number of injuries, but is now back to full fitness and showed his class with a brace against Brandon.

While he hasn’t been able to hit the heights of last season, where he notched a brilliant 40 goals, the double in midweek still took his tally for the campaign past the 20-mark, with Callum Smith and Glen Hargrave also on target as Hebburn showed they have plenty firepower at their disposal.

It is something tonight’s opponents will be all too aware of, as Hebburn hammered Whickham 7-0 before Christmas, with Oliver warning his men that the Glebe side will be out for revenge.

Oliver added: “Channon North is fit for the first time this season and it showed on Wednesday night.

“He has still scored 21 goals this season despite major back problems.

“Whickham will be raring to go after we beat them 7-0 in December so we expect a reaction.

“We may have one or two back to help the squad but it’s likely we will have 13 again.

“It’s not easy to play again so close to playing at Brandon but I’m hoping the buzz from the win will carry on in to tonight’s game.”

Tonight’s game is a 7.30pm kick-off.

Hebburn sit 10th in the Division Two table, two points ahead of Whickham having played two games more.