LEE CLARK watched Town move to within one point of the League I automatic promotion zone – but said all the gloss was taken off their 2-1 home win over Rochdale by the horror injury suffered by Anthony Pilkington.
Town’s 22-year-old ace was taken to hospital with a suspected broken and dislocated left ankle sustained 13 minutes into the second half.
The reaction of both Pilkington’s teammates and Rochdale players showed the seriousness of the injury, and the delay while the joint was immobilised and he was manoeuvred onto a stretcher contributed to eight minutes of time added on.
Dale’s Gary Jones scored six minutes into that period, but Town held out to win through first-half efforts by Benik Afobe, his first league goal, and Gary Roberts.
Clark, whose third-placed side closed the gap on Bournemouth, who were beaten 2-0 at Exeter, said: “That win was for Anthony Pilkington, but his horrific injury took all the gloss off the night as far as we were concerned.
“We are a big family, and my players, as well as those of Rochdale, were distraught at what happened out there.
“The lads saw a good friend, and an important part of the team, pick up an awful injury, and while we will have to wait to learn the full extent, it seems a really bad one.
“It looked an innocuous incident. Anthony was working hard to retrieve the ball, and the next thing he has suffered a horrific injury.”
This morning Pilkington, who was rushed to hospital, used his Twitter account to thank fans who had sent him messages of support.
The former Stockport County man showed he was in good spirits by asking for a caramel latte and a bacon butty!