Junior Muya is likely to miss the rest of the season after he suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in Leighton Town’s 2-1 defeat at Arlesey Town on Saturday.
Muya, a summer recruit for Danny Nicholls’ side, was taken to Lister Hospital by Club Physio Anthony Brightwell and the doctors there diagnosed the rupture, and confirmed he would need an operation, likely sidelining him for the remainder of the campaign.
It was the icing on top of a miserable cake for Leighton, whose luck seems to be going from bad to worse of late as they saw the familiar face of Lorrell Smith score a winner for Arlesey in stoppage time to secure the win for the home side.
There were several familiar faces amongst the Arlesey team, including James Hatch and Smith - both regular scorers for Town in recent years.
The home side took the lead on 19 minutes when Mukudzeyi Makuza got the better of debutant Matt Brady, and fired a ball across the box. Smith couldn’t connect to score against his former club, but Aaron Browne arrived at the far post and found the bottom corner.
Another Leighton new boy, Kynan Isaac, looked sharp on his first appearance for the Reds, firing just wide before seeing another effort well saved by home keeper Robbie Ponting.
The home side took their lead into the break though, and but for Tom Wyant in the Leighton net, would have doubled their advantage early in the second half, first denying Browne a second before keeping out Ashley Fuller’s free kick.
At the other end, Ponting did brilliantly to deny Alex O’Brien’s free kick, but from the resultant corner, Town were level when Kevin Osei-Addo headed home the equaliser.
But the game changed with 20 minutes to go when Muya suffered his injury, requiring lengthy treatment before being stretchered from the field.
Chances continued to come and go though, and the best arguably fell to Isaac when Lewis McBride broke clear of the Arlesey defence, pulling it back for the new man only to see him drag his shot wide of the post.
Another chance would come his way late on though, again firing just wide of the upright.
Despite Leighton’s great performance, the final chance of the game fell Arlesey’s way and they took it.
A corner deep into stoppage time, was whipped into the back post and it was headed back across into the path of former Town striker Smith, who slotted past Wyant, making it 2-1 to his new team.
For Town, it was another frustrating afternoon as they suffered their fourth loss in seven games, dropping down the SSML Premier Division table to 15th, while Arlesey moved up to third as a result of Smith’s late strike.
The Town are not in action now until September 22 when they host North Greenford United at Bell Close.