Rothwell Corinthians manager Shaun Sparrow has paid tribute to striker Rob Foster who has confirmed his retirement after a recurrence of a shoulder injury.
The frontman has been lethal in front of goal in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League over the years while also enjoying productive spells at both Kettering Town and Nuneaton Town.
But, having battled back from his shoulder problems to play for Rothwell Corinthians following their promotion to the Premier Division, Foster suffered another dislocation during last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to Sleaford Town.
He has since decided to hang up his boots and Sparrow said: “Rob has obviously had historical problems with his shoulder.
“There was nothing untoward when someone knocked into him but his shoulder popped out and fortunately the physio was there to be pop it back in.
“He went on a long road to get himself back playing but we have had a chat since the weekend and he is retiring.
“He has had a great career and it has been good to have him around the club.
“It was his decision and I am backing him. I think he is picking the right time.”
Corinthians claimed a 2-1 home win over Holbeach United last night (Thursday) in a game, which was re-arranged after the original clash was controversially abandoned after 73 minutes due to a Holbeach player being injured with a torn calf muscle when Corinthians were leading 4-1.
Corinthians were furious with the decision to replay the game in full but they would have felt justice was served as Andy White’s double sealed the points at Sergeants Lawn.
Now they are preparing for a trip to title-chasing Leicester Nirvana tomorrow (Saturday), which is quickly followed by a derby match with Desborough Town on Tuesday and Sparrow is relishing a run of big games to round off a season, which has seen his team establish themselves in the top flight.
“It’s great to be involved in these kind of matches,” he added.
“To have a chance to effect the title race and then go straight into a local derby, it’s great.
“It’s good for the lads and it is a sign of how far we have come.
“It’s what you play football for. Anybody who has played will tell you that you want to be able to effect league titles.
“Of course, you’d rather be doing it for your own purposes but we don’t fear anyone and we we want to be playing in games like this.”
Corinthians’ second string, meanwhile, won the UCL Reserve Division Knockout Cup on Tuesday night.
Chris Clarke’s penalty and a goal from Matt Redding nine minutes from full-time sealed a 2-1 success over Cogenhoe United at Chancery Lane.
Wellingborough Town have four “cup finals” to play over the next seven days as they look to secure their UCL Premier Division status.
The Doughboys didn’t play last weekend and were boosted as fellow strugglers Oadby Town lost at Harborough Town.
The two clubs are level on points but Wellingborough now have a game in hand while Sileby Rangers now sit six clear of them after a 1-0 win at Northampton Spencer on Tuesday.
The Doughboys head to Wisbech Town tomorrow before hosting Cogenhoe United on Tuesday night while Sileby are the visitors next Thursday.
“We have got a bit of a backlog with four games in seven days,” boss Jon Mitchell said.
“After not playing last weekend, we are back in the driving seat and it is back in our hands more than it has been for a while.
“I think two wins will do it for us and there is plenty of confidence within the squad because the form has been good recently.
“We have four games and we will treat them as cup finals and see how many of them we can win.”
Desborough Town boss Chris Bradshaw will cast his eye over some of the club’s younger players during the final week of the UCL Premier Division campaign.
Ar Tarn halted a run of four successive defeats by beating Cogenhoe United 2-0 at the Waterworks Field and take on Harrowby United in their last home game of the campaign tomorrow.
And Bradshaw is set to give some of the club’s under-21 players a chance to shine.
“We have a couple missing this weekend and we will look at giving some of the under-21s a taste of it,” he said.
“Dan White’s progression has shown what can happen after he made the step up. He is going to be a great player for us.
“We want to have a look at a couple more and make sure we have that flow of players coming up from the under-21s and into the first-team set-up.”
Bradshaw was delighted with his team’s display as they stopped the rot last weekend.
“I was really pleased, it was a top performance and I was as happy with that as I was with the result,” he added.
“Aside from the first five minutes of the second half, I thought we controlled the game and the only surprise was that it took us so long to find a goal.
“We were up against a very good side and it was a great performance and result after the form we had been in.”