DAN COCKERLINE has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in an horrific training accident at his home club.
The rangy young Barrow striker, who scored two goals on his debut as a loan player at STALYBRIDGE CELTIC a fortnight ago, is very unlikely to play again this season and could be out for as long as a year.
His absence will leave a huge hole in the Celtic squad, but otherwise players are starting to return at Bower Fold. Aidan Chippendale, Scott Spencer, Liam Dickinson, Darren McKnight and Danny Wisdom are all back in the squad for the game at Nuneaton after missing Tuesday’s Manchester Premier Cup win over Curzon Ashton.
However, skipper Matty Hughes misses out with a back problem alongside long-term injury victims Jay Gorton, Nick Ryan and Sam Tatum.
Stalybridge have signed defender Alex Honeyball on a work-experience loan from Bolton Wanderers and he goes straight into tomorrow’s tough Vanarama North test in the Midlands.
Goalkeeper Hakan Burton misses CURZON ASHTON’s home encounter with Harrogate Town — their first league match since their incredible FA Cup second round tie with Wimbledon.
Burton is in hospital for a minor operation so Cameron Mason takes his place. Jamie Stott returns after completing a three-match suspension but Alex Brown and Iain Howard are both described as 50/50 by manager John Flanagan and face late fitness tests.
In the Evo-stik NPL premier division, co-managers Jody Banim and Will Haining are promising changes at ASHTON UNITED in the wake of last week’s 2-0 home defeat by Stourbridge.
Banim said: “We were better against Stourbridge than we were against Spennymoor but we were still poor. We need to make changes otherwise we’re going to continue getting the same kind of results and that’s not good enough. Will and I know what we need to do but it will take time.”
Alex Frost and Jack Dyche have both left Hurst Cross — Dyche because his three-month loan from Scunthorpe United is over and Frost because he has been displaced by the signing of Danny Shaw.
“Frosty’s gone to Trafford because we couldn’t guarantee him a regular first-team place. We’re sad to lose him because he was great around the changing room. He leaves with our very best wishes,” commented Banim.
“Scunthorpe have decided to move Jack up a league and have sent him to Bradford Park Avenue. A little bit of me selfishly hopes he’ll fail there and get sent back to us, but I know he’ll do well if they use him.”
Resurgent MOSSLEY travel over the Pennines to Ossett Town in the first division north hoping to make it four wins on the run.
Co-bosses Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison have a full squad to choose from with the return from injury of Damase Kiwanda and Caldon Henson. Wales Under-17s midfielder Danny Byrnes has joined the Lilywhites after being released by Oldham Athletic.
Striker Jamie Rainford remains suspended for GLOSSOP NORTH END who are home to Kendal Town. The Hillmen need a victory to stay in touch with the promotion pack after unexpectedly losing to Ossett Albion last Saturday. In midweek, West Didsbury and Chorlton won 4-2 at Surrey Street in the Manchester Premier Cup.
Kyle Brownhill has left HYDE UNITED who are away to Bamber Bridge. The full-back has moved to struggling Vanarama North club Altrincham after they put in seven days’ notice of approach.
Altrincham have also taken central defender Sam Heathcote who has returned to his parent club at the end of a month’s loan. However, midfielder Dan Pilkington has extended his loan from Stalybridge by another month.
Ayrton Bevins misses tomorrow’s game as a result of the vicious challenge he suffered in the closing stages of last week’s clash with Colne. Big Khamsuk is doubtful after being hurt in a tackle during training last night.
Sam Fitton is expected to return from a hamstring injury at the start of January.
Defender Sean Clancy comes back for DROYLSDEN who are away to Brighouse Town. Shaq Clarke is doubtful and faces a fitness test.