Unlucky Liam ends five months of hurt
LIAM Jones has had a long time to think about the predicament facing Felixstowe and Walton United.
The luckless 24-year-old goalkeeper suffered a broken leg in the first minute of his side’s FA Vase first round match against St Neots Town in October - where United went on to lose 11-0.
For five long months, a frustrated Jones has been forced to sit and watch his injury-hit club struggle in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.
But after making his comeback in the credible 1-1 draw against CRC on Tuesday night, Jones remains confident that Felixstowe can beat the drop.
The keeper said: “It has not been a great season for me or the club and we have had injuries to key players. We only have ourselves to blame for where we are in the table but I think we have too good a squad to go down.”
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Jones fractured his fibula after falling awkwardly in the penalty area during the opening stages of the Vash clash. The long-term injury was one of many to blight the club this season with the number one jersey being something of a jinx at Dellwood Avenue.
Indeed it was only an injury to current custodian Dan Heath that forced the management team of Kevin Witchalls and Andy Clarke to throw Jones back into the side a little prematurely.
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Speaking yesterday, Jones said: “Dan has come in and done a good job but his injury means I came back perhaps a little earlier than I expected.
“It is nice to be back although I do ache a lot today. I think I was at fault for CRC’s goal and I haven’t quite got the power I had before. It will take time but I am ready to play every game, but that is up to the manager.”
Witchalls admitted he had little choice but to rush his keeper back and with Heath expected to be sidelined for a month with an ankle injury, Jones may get his wish of an extended run.
But the manager warned: “It was great to see Liam back but we are conscious not to put too much pressure on him too soon. He is worth his wait in gold when he is available and fit but the games are coming thick and fast so we have to be careful.”
Jay Denniss’ 81st minute equaliser rescued a point for United against CRC on Tuesday.
The draw, which keeps Felixstowe in the bottom three but on goal difference alone, was a fair result according to Witchalls who has called on his players to now push on, starting with Saturday’s home match against Hadleigh United.