CONFERENCE table-toppers Newport County have suffered a big injury blow with midfield star Lee Evans set to be ruled out for up to four weeks.
The talented teen, who has caught the eye of a number of Football League clubs with his stunning form this season, suffered a hamstring injury at Telford on Tuesday.
The Exiles came back from a goal down to win 4-2 on a wet and wild night in Shropshire to remain a point clear of Forest Green Rovers at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
But victory came at a cost and the injury could rule Evans out until November.
“He pulled his hamstring,” said manager Justin Edinburgh. “We don’t know how serious it is yet. We’ll have to assess that over the next 24 to 48 hours.
“It’s a blow but what it does is give someone else an opportunity.
“We’ve got plenty of strength in depth there now and as unfortunate as it is for Lee it’s a chance for someone else to come into a team that is doing well.”
Mike Flynn and Jake Thomson, who both came off the bench on Tuesday, will fight it out to replace the 18-year-old.
Thomson, who has not started since the defeat at Dartford on September 4, replaced Evans and appears to be in pole position to face Grimsby on Saturday after creating a goal for Ismail Yakubu at Telford.
The ex-Southampton midfielder is now back in favour according to Edinburgh, who said: “We moved Jake out for reasons that remain private but he’s had a tremendous response and that (creating the goal) is the reason why we brought him to this football club.”
The loss of Evans is a cloud on the horizon but it couldn’t dampen Edinburgh’s enthusiasm on a soggy night at the New Bucks Head stadium when the hosts had two men sent off.
“There’s a great togetherness and a great spirit in this team and I’m absolutely delighted to be in charge of these boys right now,” said the Exiles boss.
“We dominated the game and I’m delighted with the performance and the result.
“Telford had been on a good run and are certainly a better side than last year, like us.
“They started the game well but I felt we were unfortunate to go behind and once we got that goal just before half-time I felt we would go on to win the game.
“It’s a great time to score and got us back on level terms, which I felt we deserved.
“That gave us the incentive and initiative to take the game to them in the second half.
“We had to work hard for it but we played some good football.
“We looked dangerous from set-pieces and we kept our discipline, as we have all season,” he added.
“I think we’ve got 13 yellow cards and six of them came in one game. Unfortunately we got fined for that, which is disappointing.
“But I’m very pleased for the fans. It was like a home game. They sucked the ball in after the break.
“It’s a brilliant run we’re on and we’ve got to enjoy it with them.”