Serious injury blow for St Neots Town star Lee Clarke as Southern League Premier Division season comes to a painful conclusion
- Credit: Archant
St Neots endured a painful end to their Southern League Premier Division season on Tuesday night.
Not only were Saints beaten 4-2 by Chesham at the Premier Plus Stadium as the curtain came down on a difficult campaign, but striker Lee Clarke suffered a serious injury.
Clarke faces up to eight months out with a ruptured Achilles and was one of two Saints players left in hospital that night.
Young full-back Zak Rudman suffered severe bruising to his cheekbone after being caught by a high-boot from an opponent during his first-team debut.
Director of football Iain Parr, who took charge for Saints’ final game with interim boss Andy Davies away, said: “It was a huge shame to lose a player to such a serious injury in our last game.
“In my experience, the recovery from a ruptured Achilles can be anything from six to eight months.
“Lee was trying to change direction and just went down. He said he felt like he had been hit by a brick on the back of the ankle.
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“We ended the night with two players in A & E with our physio, Carol Holland.
“They initially thought young Zak had broken his cheekbone and he is very lucky to get away with bad bruising after taking a boot to the face.
“Unbelievably there wasn’t even any punishment for the Chesham player. The referee seemed to think it was an accident.”
Saints conceded twice in the opening six minutes before Drew Roberts halved their arrears midway through the opening half.
Goalkeeper Alex Archer then pulled off a fine penalty save, but he was powerless to prevent the visitors from striking again 10 minutes before the break.
Roberts ate into Saints’ arrears a second time 20 minutes into the second period, but they were seen off by a fourth Chesham goal with 10 minutes to go.
It means Saints finish the season in 20th position – one place and four points above the Premier Division relegation zone.
Parr added: “We started very poorly against Chesham, but then had a real go at them.
“The scoreline flattered them and there is no doubt in my mind we deserved at least a point.”
Eynesbury were beaten 3-0 at title-chasers AFC Kempston Rovers in their penultimate United Counties League Premier Division fixture on Tuesday night.
They now host the other team chasing the championship crown, Leicester Nirvana, in their final outing of the season this Saturday.