NO sooner had he sorted one pre-match problem at the Vestacare Stadium yesterday (Sun) than Oldham boss Scott Naylor was hit by another.
Forwards Liam Bent and Ben Davies were due to be on the bench in the Roughyeds’ 56-6 win against West Wales Raiders, but all that had to change when Naylor was told that Bent had been involved in a road accident en route to the game.
Paul Crook was called up to replace him, but by this time the players were on the field for their pre-game warm-up and Davies went down with a calf problem.
Club captain Gareth Owen, who was being rested, was on promotional work selling fund-raising tickets for the Supporters’ Club when he was told he was playing.
Roughyeds thus went into the game with one of their smallest ever panel of four subs in Crook, Owen, Emmerson Whittel and Jamie Greenwood.
Players had to play for long periods out of position, particularly Owen at loose-forward and Whittel at prop.
Said head coach Naylor:
“It was particularly important we won this one, given we go to Whitehaven next and if we win up there we’ll go top.
“We weren’t amazing, but we had a job to do and we got on with it and got it done.
“Luckily, Liam Bent was okay after the car accident. He rang in to say he would be late but I told him to go straight home and rest.
“You can often get delayed reaction after a bump like that and I want him fully fit for Whitehaven.
“We’ve got a few injury issues and I’ll have to sort them so that we can field our strongest side.”
In the past fortnight the Betfred League 1 leaders have seen their advantage whittled down to one point.”