Concerned Rayners Lane were this week waiting on scan results to determine the extent of a sickening head injury sustained by Ruben Da Silva in Tuesday night’s Middlesex Premier Cup quarter-final with Hanworth Villa Reserves.
The cup tie was abandoned on 70 minutes, with the scoreline level at 1-1, after goalkeeper Da Silva rushed out for a one-on-one challenge with a Villa striker and came off second best at Tithe Farm.
There was a long wait for an ambulance before Da Silva was taken to hospital and the referee, who appeared visibly shaken by the incident, made the call to bring an end to the match with 20 minutes still to play.
Early indications from Rayners Lane as the Observer went to press were that the injury was not as serious as was first feared.
Meanwhile, Lane manager Mick Bradshaw has insisted his side are starting to find their feet again after several of the club’s players decided to follow former manager Dene Gardner to Leverstock Green.
Gardner, who led the Lane to the Hellenic League Division One East title last season, returned to management last month with the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division outfit.
It has meant current boss Bradshaw has had to regroup and bring in new faces such as Luke Heneghan and Reece Chaudry to try and patch up his squad.
“A few of them have gone to Leverstock Green to play for their former manager,” Bradshaw confirmed. “Gavin Smith and Harry Henley have gone and a couple of others who went there via Cockfosters.
“It’s a numbers issue to me. I don’t think these guys are good enough to play the type of football I want to play anyway
but numbers-wise they brought some physicality and experience.”
Lane travelled to Wokingham & Emmbrook on Saturday with the squad down to the bare bones, with Richard John’s strike not enough to prevent a 3-1 defeat.
Bradshaw could not name a single substitute due to a lack of numbers, although Paul Leslie is hopeful of returning from injury for Saturday’s visit of Penn & Tylers Green.
“We only had 11 players all day because of late drop-outs and a mis-communication with one player who had changed
his mobile phone number,” Bradshaw said of the Wokingham defeat.
“One of our lads got injured after 16 minutes and we had to carry him through the remainder of the game.”
“The scoreline doesn’t really reflect the match. We certainly deserved at least a point, if not all three, and the boys played much more like how I expect a football team to play.”
Rayners Lane, without goalkeeper Da Silva, host Penn & Tylers Green this Saturday.