ROYTON Town chairman Gary Leeming admits he feels for manager Mark Howard after a raft of injuries, suspensions and cry-offs left them struggling.
Not helped by two players who told him they could not play as they were going to watch Manchester United in action against Fulham!
Town were left with just nine players for the final 10 minutes of their Manchester League tie with Manchester Central, when the scores were tied at 2-2.
And they took full advantage by scoring three goals to inflict a 5-2 defeat on the title chasers.
Now Leeming has had enough, saying: “We’ve been struggling with injuries and suspensions.
“We were down to bare 11 against Manchester Central then had a man sent off and another go off injured.
“Fortunately, the lads who got suspended are coming back but it’s hard having four or five out every week.
“We even had two who texted saying they were going to watch Manchester United – you don’t do that when you sign up for a team.
“But they texted, they didn’t even call, saying, ‘We’re going watching United, it’s simple.’
“The attitude has changed, nowadays the young ones just don’t care as much.”
Royton break for Christmas and New Year after Saturday’s (Dec 15) game against struggling Beechfield United.
But the table is boiling into something of a local battle as near neighbours Heyside and Springhead trail just behind.
“It could be a bit of a grudge match with Heyside,” Leeming admitted.
“But I think we’ve got the best chance of winning the league for a number of years.
“When we get our full team out again, we’ll be OK and we’ll keep the pressure on at the top of the table.
“I had never been so confident of winning the league as I was this season but it’s all been about injuries and suspensions.
“That’s the way it goes, it always seems to happen at the wrong time.”
Leeming also praised the way Royton Town’s second team has coped, even though Curzon Ashton has recalled two players.
He added: “At the end of one match, which we won 3-2, we had four 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old on the pitch. That’s how we’re trying to develop young players.”