Hebburn Town boss Scott Oliver is counting the cost of their midweek defeat against South Shields – and not just because they bowed out of a cup competition.
The Hornets lost 5-2 against their neighbours in an entertaining Ernest Armstrong Memorial Trophy clash.
But more significantly for Oliver was the amount of injuries his side picked up.
It leaves his resources severely stretched ahead of tomorrow’s Northern League Division Two clash at home to Darlington RA tomorrow.
Oliver said: “We’ve got big injury problems.
“James Talbot is out with a hamstring strain, Channon North is out with a groin problem.
“Alan Pegram has a calf injury and Ross Toward is missing through work.
“Craig Malley needs a late fitness test, but Ian Bickerstaff will start.
“I was delighted with the lads on Tuesday.
“We were level for an hour, but our lack of fit substitutes cost us.
“Ally Downey came on for Malley and had to come off feeling unwell, so Talbot replaced him but he had to come off too.
“Martin Nugent, Ian Bickerstaff and young Josh Rodgers pulled out with illness on the day which left us short.
“Shields’ finishing was the difference, but between the boxes we matched them.”
Despite the midweek reverse, Oliver has been pleased with his side’s form, with Hebburn unbeaten in their last four league games.
They sit six points behind tomorrow’s opponents and despite the selection problems, Oliver is confident of a win.
He added: “It’s a game we need to win. Although Darlington are mid-table, they are struggling at the moment and we need to take advantage.
“The football we are playing is now at last season’s level and I am enjoying watching us play.
“We have a strong squad and we will need it in the next 10 days.”