Hares suffer knock-out blow as skipper is sent to hospital

THE Hares were quite literally dealt a knock-out blow on Saturday when captain Luke Pepper fell unconscious in a 3-0 Ridgeons First Division defeat at Godmanchester. But they recovered to beat Fakenham 1-0 in the Ridgeons First Division Cup on Tuesday. T

THE Hares were quite literally dealt a knock-out blow on Saturday when captain Luke Pepper fell unconscious in a 3-0 Ridgeons First Division defeat at Godmanchester.

But they recovered to beat Fakenham 1-0 in the Ridgeons First Division Cup on Tuesday.

The referee stopped Saturday's match 30 seconds early after Pepper was smashed in the temple with a ball from a volley just three yards away.

The midfielder then landed on his temple, swallowed his tongue, and landed on his temple again.


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He was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, where he spent the night.

Pepper said this week: "It was pretty nasty and I don't remember much. I'm feeling better now but don't think I'll be able to play on Saturday."

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March also lost key players Ben Hepworth and Marc Welcher in the match.

Godmanchester took the lead just before half-time after March's appeals for off-side were waved away and scored twice more in the second half to complete their double over March this season.

But the Hares bounced back to win at the Ridgeons First Division's bottom club in their preliminary round match on Tuesday.

James McCallum's 70th-minute stunning header from 16 yards won the match after Shaun Colson's cross from the left.

March created several opportunities throughout the game with Lawrie Brand coming close with three one-on-ones with the goalkeeper, his brother Ashley forcing a fine save and centre-back Craig Norman having a header cleared off the line.

March manager Brett Whaley said: "It was a much better performance from us on Tuesday.

"Fakenham came at us from the start but we defended well. James McCallum poses a big aerial threat in attack and we put in some quality crosses. Sam Murphy was absolutely superb for us."

Hepworth, Welcher and Pepper will all miss tomorrow's league match at Swaffham but Michael Anker, Alex Spibey and Harry Roe return to the squad after missing Tuesday's match.

Whaley said: "It's a bit of a blow losing three key players in a week. Knowing Luke he'll want to play again but I don't think he'll be ready until the following Saturday.

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