DEVASTATED manager Paul Smith admits the long term lay-off of midfielder Liam Spink has left a gaping hole in the Bromsgrove Sporting ranks.
The 23-year-old suffered a leg break and dislocated ankle in last night’s Birmingham Senior Cup tie against Nuneaton Town at the Victoria Ground.
Due to the nature of the injury, referee Ben Cooke abandoned the game in the 67th minute with the score at 2-1 to the visitors.
Medical staff from both Sporting and Nuneaton attended to Spink before he was taken by ambulance to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch where he is due to have an operation later today (Wednesday) at 1.30pm.
With the former Redditch United and Rushall Olympic midfielder now out for the season, Smith told the Standard there are ‘massive boots to fill’.
“He gives us the most energy in the role he plays in and quite simply he is our engine,” he said.
“Robbie Bunn and Sam Wills bring different things to the party but Liam brings that box-to-box energy which we are going to miss.
“Without his presence, it has now left us with a massive hole to fill.
“It was horrible to see because Liam is a great footballer and I am that close to him he is one of my pals.
“There was nothing malicious in the tackle, it was a case of his foot got stuck in the mud and twisted awkwardly.
“I am still upset about it but I hope he can get back playing at some point in the near future.”
Prior to the injury, Sporting had been holding their own quite well against full-time outfit Nuneaton and Smith was impressed by the performance after a poor showing in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Quorn in the Midland League Premier Division.
“You could definitely see the difference in sharpness between the two sides but that said, we caused Nuneaton some problems,” he said.
“We were well in the game at 2-1 down and it was a huge improvement from Saturday.
“Things were where they needed to be on Tuesday night and I could not have been more pleased with the performance.”
Sporting now turn their attentions to Saturday’s league clash at fourth-from-bottom Boldmere St Michaels.
Despite their league position, the Sutton Coldfield side have lost just two of their last seven games in all competitions and Smith stressed his players need to be in the right mindset to come away with three points.
“It’s another tough game and like every side in this league, if you do not show the right desire, work rate and mentality you will not win,” he added.