Points machine Johnson could miss rest of Fylde season

Prolific Fylde fly-half and goalkicker Chris Johnson has most probably scored his last point of the season after sustaining a serious mouth injury late in the first half of Saturday’s 35-21 home win over bottom club Henley Hawks.

Johnson, who lost a tooth and had others loosened, underwent emergency dental surgery in Manchester but is unlikely to play again this season.

To add to his frustration, the prolific pointscorer is just 13 short of 1,000 for the club, having made 109 appearances over the last four seasons.

Fylde full-back Warren Spragg may be ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn chest muscle. The former Italy international, also a member of the club’s coaching staff, is closing in on 100 club appearances and was due to see a specialist this week to determine the extent of the damage.

Facing another fortnight’s gap between league fixtures, Fylde are involved in the annual Brendan Hanavan Trophy fixture against Preston Grasshoppers at Lightfoot Green this afternoon (2pm).

The clubs’ Second XVs were due to meet in the league 
tomorrow, so it was agreed to bring that match forward 24 hours, with the memorial trophy as well as Conference ‘A’ points at stake.

The National One season for Fylde’s senior side resumes at Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday week.

Fylde have named a strong Hawks line-up for today’s game and will be skippered by highly experienced Lancashire prop Tom Lavelle.

Eight other players with first-team experience feature in the Fylde team, including highly promising young Lancashire U20 squad members Connor Wilkinson (once a Hoppers junior), Jamie Brookes (Lancs U20 skipper), Richard Whiteside, Nick Riding and Adam Joyner. Former Preston first-team hooker Phill Mills is among the replacements.

At the other end of the experience scale to the young guys is Martin Wallwork 
with 358 National League 
appearances in 19 seasons behind him.

The idea of the Hanavan match doubling up as a second team league fixture has caused some controversy, though a crowd of over 1,000 is expected and the match will benefit the Oral Cancer Foundation.

The National One season for Fylde’s senior side resumes at Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday week.

Fylde team: Connor Wilkinson; Jamie Brookes, Brett Whitehead, Dan Orwin, Jake Foster; Martin Wallwork, 9Richard Whiteside; Jonathan James Wild, Danny Maher, Thomas Lavelle (c), Matthew Garrod, Karl Capstick, Olly Trippier, Gregor Aitken, Nick Riding; replacements: Adam Joyner, Phil Mills, Alex Vowles-Bradley.

Hoppers: Alex Ward; Andy Hulme, Jacob Browne, Tom Forster, Jake Elwood; Will Hunt, Kane Bevan; Daniel Burns, Josh Gow, Ross Andrews, Sam Gale (c), Matthew Lambert, Matthew Beaty, Jack Edwards, James Hesketh; replacements: Stephen Lightfoot, Matthew Sturgess, Connor Truman.