Player-boss Liam Harrold has been hit by a series of major blows in the early days of his Whittlesey Athletic reign.
The club have lost three players – Adam Piergianni, Dan Drane and Harry Jenkins - to serious injuries in as many matches.
Piergianni suffered a broken arm, which required surgery, in their Peterborough League Premier Division opener against Thorney nine days ago.
Then a President’s Premier Shield opening round clash against Peterborough Sports Reserves was abandoned with three minutes remaining last Saturday after Dan Drane suffered a serious ankle injury.
Drane received treatment from paramedics at PSL before being taken to Peterborough City Hospital where he underwent an operation the following day.
And the casualty list continued to grow on Tuesday when Harry Jenkins was the latest player to require a trip to hospital. He sustained concussion and a suspected dislocated shoulder during a 4-3 loss at the hands of Stilton.
Harrold said: “They say things happen in threes, but this is an unbelievable situation.
“First and foremost we wish all three of the lads speedy and successful recoveries. It is never nice to see a team-mate badly injured and in a lot of pain.
“‘Pidge’ is likely to be out for eight weeks and Dan will be a long-term absentee. We’ll know more about Harry in the coming days.
“All we can do is soldier on. We’re looking to see if we can strengthen the squad, but we will only bring the right players in.”
Harrold has drafted in Ricky Hailstone from Yaxley to boost his squad. He was on the scoresheet along with Harrold and Joe Butterworth against Stilton.
League chiefs have since ruled the result of the abandoned cup tie against Peterborough Sports Reserves will stand. Whittlesey led 2-1 when it was halted against a Sports side reduced to 10 men and will now progress into a second round tie against Ketton.
Darren Edey’s Ketton side have made a fine start to their debut top-flight season. They bashed fellow promoted side AFC Stanground 4-0 at the weekend before thumping Uppingham 8-1 on Tuesday.
Even worse was to follow for a Stanground outfit still searching for their first Premier Division points as they crashed 11-0 to Peterborough Sports Reserves on Tuesday. Karl Gibbs hit eight of the goals!