Hartlepool United’s James Brown hit by fresh injury blow

James Brown sits on the Victoria Park pitch after hurting his foot. Picture by FRANK REID
James Brown sits on the Victoria Park pitch after hurting his foot. Picture by FRANK REID

JAMES Brown looks set for yet another spell on the sidelines after his injury jinx struck again during last night’s 1-0 defeat at home to Leyton Orient.

The 24-year-old had found himself back in the team in recent weeks following an injury-fragmented campaign.

But Brown went over on his ankle midway during the first half and, despite lengthy treatment, eventually succumbed to the problem.

“It’s such a shame,” Wadsworth told SportMail.

“His bad luck continues and it’s just amazing.

“It’s just been this endless cycle of nearly getting there and boom, he’s gone again.

“He was so desperate to stay on but I knew in all honesty when he went down he’d probably have to come off.

“But, credit to him, he got it strapped up and had a go but in my mind I knew he had no chance and it was no surprise he had to be substituted.”

A succession of knee and ankle complaints has seen Brown spend as much time in the treatment room as the dressing room this term.

But an injury-free stretch dating back to Christmas had offered fresh hope that the talented frontman could be over the worst of his problems.

Indeed, Brown had shown flashes of his undoubted ability during the weekend victory over Plymouth Argyle and had done enough to win another start last night.

And Wadsworth added: “We just can’t get him fit.

“He doesn’t have a consecutive run of five or six games in the team where we can build his fitness and endurance up.

“With that comes better touch and better decision making.

“But the poor lad has just never got there and has only shown flashes of what he can do.

“Now he’s back in the treatment room and we’ll have to wait and see as to the extent of the injury.”

Meanwhile, top scorer Antony Sweeney missed last night’s game after an ankle wound suffered against Plymouth became infected over the weekend.

Wadsworth, though, is not ruling out a Lazarus-like rising by his midfield ace before this Saturday’s trip to Walsall.

“It was a blow not to have Sweens but he’s got a nasty cut and has got a slight infection in it,” he said.

“The good news is he’s been X-rayed and as far as we know there’s no damage to the ankle – we’ll just have to wait for it to heal and clear.

“It’s a tricky spot where it is, but knowing Sweens you never know because he’s like Lazarus – he rises from the bed, he’s amazing, so let’s hope he’s back soon.”

Elsewhere last night, Peter Clarke fired a dramatic injury-time winner for Huddersfield at Brentford to ensure the Terriers continue to cling on to an automatic promotion slot.

Lee Clark’s men looked set to concede second place to charging Peterborough but Clarke’s crucial strike means Huddersfield stay a point clear in second, although Posh have a game in hand.

Darren Ferguson’s men grabbed their fifth successive win and continued their recent goal blitz with a 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Craig Mackail-Smith opened the scoring for Posh and further goals from Lee Tomlin and George Boyd put the visitors out of sight before half-time.

Although Paul Heffernan narrowed the deficit for Gary Megson’s men with a 52nd-minute strike, the visitors completed the job nine minutes from time when Boyd got his second.

Yannick Bolasie’s late equaliser for Plymouth in a 1-1 draw at Carlisle moved Argyle off the bottom and within three points of safety. Craig Dawson’s goal gave Rochdale a 1-0 win over Notts County.