ANNAGH United have been hit by a striker shortage entering the closing fixtures of the IFA Championship 2 campaign.
Scott McCordick has been granted a leave of absence for personal reasons but recent injuries now place Dean Smith, Mark Boyce and Raymond Wilkinson all on the treatment table.
David Johnstone, the Annagh boss, is also expecting Ciaran McKerr to miss games with a torn abductor and Andrew Wright continues to struggle for full fitness from his knee problem.
“It is a difficult situation in terms of strikers but one we must adapt to for the remaining games,” said Johnstone. “Every team has to overcome injury problems and it is a test now of our versatility and willingness to adapt.
“Mark had been adjusting well following his move from the Mid-Ulster Football League and he even scored the winner on Saturday against Moyola Park.
“However, a broken bone in his foot should mean time out over a few weeks.
“Now is the time you ask players to operate out of position or to do certain jobs to help cover our injuries.
“They have done so in the past and I certainly have faith in the commitment of everyone at this club.
“We visit Chimney Corner on Saturday and must look on it all as a challenge to overcome in our bid for a strong finish to the season.”
United lost out to Queen’s University on Wednesday night.
“After getting the win and clean sheet on Saturday from the Moyola match it was then so disappointing to finish with nothing against Queen’s.
“It was a crazy game as we had the greater share of possession, three times as many corner-kicks and the better chances.
“We squandered two one-on-one chances and even an open net then Queen’s scored from three of the four decent opportunities they created.
“The bottom line, however, is that hard work alone will not be enough in this league and the table does not lie.
“We simply have not been good enough recently and certainly lacked the quality needed.”