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Story posted: Monday, 4th October 2004

Dale Belford Update
Dale Belford

Dale Belford

Goalkeeper Dale Belford looks set to miss "the next few games at least" according to manager Gary Norton after being stretchered off just before half time in Saturdays 2-2 FA Cup 2nd Qualifying tie against Hucknall Town.
Belford who has been struggling with a back injury for the last few games collapsed in agony after Gary Ricketts penalty equalizer in first half stoppage time. He was replaced by 18-year-old reserve team keeper James Pemberton.

Norton said: "Dale has been playing through the pain barrier for our last two or three games due to the problem with his back. He's been having regular treatment and prior to Saturday's game it had seemed to be getting better. Unfortunately backs are complicated things and he jarred it when saving a deflected free kick midway through the first half and it went completely whist trying to save the penalty.

"Dale is the type of guy that would play through just about anything if at all possible so when he went down after the penalty, I knew that it was serious. He was in agony as he was stretchered off and went to Coventry hospital to check out the injury. It looks like he's trapped a nerve but we will have to wait and see what the medical people say later in the week as to the exact nature of the injury. It's difficult to say how long he will be out for but he will definitely miss the next few games at least"

Norton added "We are looking to see who is available to bring in as cover for Dale. We have Brad Clarke on loan at Newhall and James who has been doing very well for our Reserves but with the excellent start to our league campaign we've had I want to try and bring in some experienced cover rather than expose either of our younger keepers for any length of time. Had we been mid table or we knew Dale was only going miss a couple of games, I probably would have gone with either Brad or James."
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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