AFC TOTTON’S 1-0 opening day defeat at Highworth Town had an added sting in the tail.
The Stags newly-appointed skipper Jack Masterton is feared to be out until Christmas with a dislocated shoulder.
“It’s a bad one,” said manager Louis Langdown. “The joints are properly messed up.
“Jack’s the person who gets on the ball and gets us going and to lose our best footballer first game of the season is going to damage us.
“But we’re going to have to recover and find someone else to play in that position.”
Langdown believes Masterton was caught with an elbow as he tried to stop a Highworth breakaway.
It was that sort of game, with the newly-promoted Wiltshire outfit throwing bodies on the line in their quest for points.
Highworth’s 20th-minute match-winner Ash Edenborough was both hero and villain for his side.
Having spun Callum Chugg and fired home from ten yards with the young Totton defender appealing in vain for a foul, Edenborough was sent off three minutes into the second half for allegedly raising an arm against Chugg.
“It was their first game at Southern League level and they harassed and went for us from the start,” said Langdown.
“We felt at half-time that we could get something from the game and, when they went down to ten men, we had five or six chances.
“Stuart Green has swivelled and beaten the keeper, but it’s cannoned of their defender on the line. The keeper’s then tipped over a Jack Barker volley and one of their lads looked like heading in an own goal but the keeper’s managed to claw that out too.
“Highworth were a bit naughty from minute one, but credit to them for throwing bodies on the line.”
Totton can expect another physical test on Tuesday (7.45pm) when Portsmouth outfit Moneyfields are the Testwood Stadium visitors.
Moneys beat Barnstaple 3-1 on Saturday through Lewis Fennemore, Lloyd Rowlatt and ex-Winchester City winger Joe Briggs.
Source : DailyEcho