Keeping turmoil hits Ripon City

NARG 1305022AM1 Ripon City V Horbury Town. Duncan Terry. (1305022AM1)
NARG 1305022AM1 Ripon City V Horbury Town. Duncan Terry. (1305022AM1)

Ripon City face a goalkeeping crisis after veteran Alistair Hogg was knocked unconscious in Saturday’s abandoned clash with Otley Town.

City were being held by Otley when experienced stopper Hogg took a nasty blow in a mid-air collision with an Otley Town striker 15 minutes into the second period.

The injury brought proceedings to a conclusion as the referee deemed there was not enough light left in the day to fulfil the fixture.

Due to footballing laws, Hogg must not play for three weeks after the clash, and Brown advised him to hang his gloves up for good.

But with fellow keepers Tom Sowerby and Phil Zealand also out injured, the gaffer has hit the phone to secure an emergency replacement.

“I spoke to Hoggy on Saturday night after he left hospital just before 8pm,” Brown said.

“I think that’s about it for his goalkeeping.

“He can’t play for three weeks given the rules on concussion.

“If I were him, I would be saying enough is enough.

“We have a bit of a ‘keeping crisis. We are doing our best to get one in.

“I’ll be speaking to a lot of lads I play vets football with including (Tadcaster Albion manager) Paul Marshall and (Bradford Park Avenue boss) John Deacey.”

Defender Mark Tyson could step between the sticks for Saturday’s clash at struggling Brighouse Old Boys, should Brown fail in his search for a new recruit.

Brown hopes Ashley Atkinson will join Rob Mortimer in returning to the fold for Saturday’s clash. But Joe Knowlson remains injured.

Brighouse sit one place above the relegation places averaging just one point in the 13 matches played so far.

In comparison, Brown’s boys have notched up 22 points and know wins in their games in hand would put them back in the hunt for a top four spot.

“We know we have to play well, and if we do that we will win,” he said.

“The last two or three games we haven’t been at out best. We need to improve.”

Kev Morris tapped in City’s opener at Mallorie Park on Saturday after Duncan Terry had unleashed a rasping shot that bounced off the crossbar.

Town grabbed an equaliser late in the first period before Hogg’s injury in the second-half.

“It was never going to be a classic, it was a poor, scrappy affair,” he added.

“There were one or two that weren’t on their game. If we had added to it at 1-0 we would have gone on to get the points.

“They weren’t the best side in the league.

“‘Hoggy then came to palm the ball clear from a cross and the lad’s gone up with him and given him a naughty one.

“He went down and he was out for the count and with the light failing the match was abandoned.

“The main concern has to be the health and safety of the players. Fair play to the referee for ensuring that.

“I’m sure Otley were disappointed as we would have been in their shoes, but the right decision was made.

“Thankfully, he was all right.”

lCity’s West Yorkshire Premier rivals Boroughbridge were without a game on Saturday as scheduled opponents Brighouse Old Boys were in cup action.

Boroughbridge travel to lowly Division Two side Bramham this weekend in the League Cup second round.

Should Daz Ekin’s men advance, they would earn a round three trip to Otley Town.

Boroughbridge reserves salvaged a point on Saturday as Paul Scaife’s brace earned them a 2-2 draw at Garforth Road Rangers in Alliance Division Two.

Boroughbridge’s table topping 3rds thrashed Hampsthwaite United Reserves 4-0 in Harrogate & District Division Two.

Ollie Bone scored twice before Kyle Wall and a Steve Kirby penalty rounded off the victory.