John Gillam

Date published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

by ROGER HALSTEAD

WINGER John Gillam must be doubtful for Oldham’s trip to Hunslet on Sunday after picking up a shoulder injury in last night’s 22-14 win against Hornets at Sedgley Park.

He was forced to quit, never to return, in the 17th minute. Initially, the club’s medical staff thought he might have suffered a “stinger” from which he would probably have been able to return to the action later in the game.

“But his condition gradually went worse, rather than better, so it may be more than that and we will have to get him checked out now,” explained coach Tony Benson.

Paul O’Connor (thumb) and Matty Ashe (calf muscle strains) will also have to be assessed this week as Benson prepares his squad for the trip to the South Leeds Stadium where Hunslet are fancied to be one of the form teams of Championship 1 this year.

Roughyeds have now picked up four points from a possible six in their Northern Rail Cup pool matches, but Benson acknowledges that his troops will have to play much better than they did against Rochdale if they are to pick up more points away at Hunslet and then home to Sheffield Eagles.

Of last night’s game he said: “It was a difficult game in which we couldn’t get any rhythm and we couldn’t get started. I don’t think anyone enjoyed playing in it. I don’t know what it was like to watch for the fans, but it wasn’t a game I will remember for long.

“We are close to where we want to be and had we got a bit more rhythm it might have been a different game.

“We almost did something good, then it was broken down by a penalty. For us or against us it had the same effect in slowing the game up.

“There was plenty of passion and some exciting play in patches, but it was frustrating. The number of penalties was just too many.Then the scrums were breaking down. I don’t know what happened. It was a mess.

“I am always out to beat Rochdale, though. They were very courageous in the second half when they were down to 12 men. I take my hat off to them, but more so to us because we defended so well. We held tight on the line and showed great commitment in working for each other.

“There were patches in the game when we let slip a little and although I am not happy about that I can understand how it happened.

“We have got a goal to qualify and we are half-way there.”