Spalding United suffer 'massive blow' after serious injury to winger during friendly
Spalding United's plans for the 2020-21 season have been dealt an early blow after a serious injury during their opening pre-season friendly on Saturday.
Winger Lewis Smith picked up a suspected anterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee just before half-time in the Tulips' against Step 3 Southern League Premier Division Central side Peterborough Sports at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
Spalding manager Lewis Thorogood described Smith's injury as a "massive blow" which could rule the ex-Lincoln Moorlands Railway playmaker out for the season.
In total, Thorogood named five new signings in the starting 11 that lost 3-0 to Sports, one of them being ex-Bourne Town striker Jacob Fenton who was also forced out of Saturday's game with an achilles problem.
Thorogood said: "We were playing against the team that should have won their league last season.
"Sports are well-drilled, very fit, very athletic and one step away from being a professional outfit.
"But for the first half-hour, we were really, really good.
"We looked strong, we were getting the ball and knocking it about.
"Then their (Sports) experience told with the first goal, although we've got to work on cutting out our mistakes.
"With their second goal, Michael Duggan just didn't judge the pitch because the ball bounced higher than he expected.
"It was a blow because if it had been 1-0 at half-time, we're still in the game.
"We could have capitulated, fallen apart and conceded six or seven goals.
"At times we showed a bit of inexperience and we didn't really test their keeper in the second half.
"But we're looking at fitness levels, that desire to want to work hard, press and keep pressing because work rate is going to be important for us this year."
. Spalding United's next pre-season friendly is a behind-closed-doors trip to United Counties League Division One side Holwell Sports on Wednesday night.