Night ends in woe for Ducks as key player is stretchered off

Lee Bircham faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines
Lee Bircham faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines
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Aylesbury United suffered a double blow when their Berks & Bucks quarter-final against Shrivenham was abandoned due to fog with the Ducks 4-0 up and a key player broke his leg on Wednesday night.

Popular right-back Lee Bircham was stretchered off in agony after a clattering challenge left him with a double leg break when United were leading 4-0.

His brother and former QPR star, Marc Bircham, tweeted: “For Everyone asking about @LEEBIRCH it was a bad 1.. Broke Both Tib and Fib and they are operating on it today. He’s in a lot of pain.”

Manager Tony Joyce said: “It was a bit of a nasty way to finish. You don’t ever like to see one of your players or anyone’s injured like that.”

Bircham has now had surgery on the injury, which was confirmed to be a broken fibula and tibia.

Joyce added: “I had a chat with him this morning (Thursday). He really does live for his football but he’s told me he’ll be fit for pre-season. He’s in high spirits.”

Prior to the injury there had been debate as to whether to stage the match due to the foggy conditions. However, Joyce refused to blame the referee and said both teams were intent on playing.

The Ducks quickly took to the conditions and raced into a 4-0 lead at half-time with Stacey Field, Steve Hatch, Zac Reynolds and Jack Wood getting on the scoresheet.

At half-time Joyce revealed he had told his players to take care of themselves. The referee did consider suspending play several times but continued.

The boss added: “It wasn’t great visibility but it had no bearing on the injury. The players were quite happy to play on.”

The referee eventually abandoned the game after Bircham was rushed to hospital and United now have to see whether the game needs to be replayed.

However, Joyce said Shrivenham’s manager was happy to accept the result as it stood if the Berks & Bucks authority agree.