Simon's injury a Downer for Maidenhead United, but defender won't be rushed back
It's not a coincidence to Johnson Hippolyte that Maidenhead United haven’t lost yet this season when Simon Downer has been in the side.
The former Sutton United defender was missing again as the Magpies crashed to a 4-1 defeat at St Albans City on Saturday, after having taken the lead through Adrian Clifton’s ninth-minute strike.
Clifton was then dismissed for a shove on a St Alban’s player 10 minutes later and without his drive in midfield, allied to the missing experience of Downer, Eddie Hutchinson and the suspended Dave Tarpey, Maidenhead’s afternoon nosedived in spectacular fashion.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence, and it’s not only him because Hutch (Eddie Hutchinson) and Dave Tarpey couldn’t play on Saturday so we weren’t at full strength, but we’re disappointed that some of the other boys haven’t done as well as we’ve expected when they come in. But it’s something we’re trying to address.
“We made a decision last week that we’re not going to rush Simon Downer back. If it’s a case that we have to lose two or three games without him in order to get him back fit for the longer term then we’ll do that.
“If he’s properly fit we’ll play him (against Havant) but if he’s not we won’t and he’ll be out for another week or two.
Had Clifton kept his head Hippolyte is certain the Magpies would have gone on to register another three points. He said the midfielder, who apologised on twitter for his red card, knew he’d let the side down.
“Up until Adrian’s sending off they weren’t causing us any problems,” said Hippolyte.
“I’m disappointed he got sucked into retaliating but he knows he’s let his teammates and the club down. You can’t get sucked into doing that, especially when you’re in front.
“They took on the onus once he was sent off and it was an uphill struggle from there but I’m still disappointed because it’s three points dropped, in my opinion.”
United host Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday, who moved fourth in the Conference South with victory over Basingstoke Town on Saturday to register their third win on the trot.
Hippolyte said he knew the Magpies were in for a tough afternoon but hopes his players use their frustrations from their past two defeats against Farnbor-ough and St Albans to muster a pleasing performance.
Dave Tarpey is set to return from his three match suspension and Hippolyte said Hutchinson should be fit to return from injury.
“Last season they (Havant) missed out on the play-offs by a point, and we didn’t help their cause by winning at their place and I think they’ll remember that, but we normally do a little better against the bigger teams.
“We’ve let ourselves down against the teams in and around us because with a bit of luck and less naivety we could easily have been sitting in the top seven.”