Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Serious head injury to Tom Bender forces abandonment of cup tie

Serious head injury to Tom Bender forces abandonment of cup tie
Serious head injury to Tom Bender forces abandonment of cup tie. Accrington match called off after Tom Bender head injury.

Accrington Stanley's Tom Bender is recovering in hospital after suffering a head injury that forced a cup match against Tranmere to be abandoned.The defender, 18, was knocked out in a collision with two other players in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie.

He was treated for 30 minutes on the pitch, with players ushered away as he was given oxygen and put on a drip.

Bender regained consciousness in hospital and has been diagnosed with severe concussion.

Tranmere were leading 2-1 in the second round match when Bender was injured in the 39th minute after colliding with Accrington goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin and Tranmere's Lucas Akins.

Players were sent to the dressing room while he was being treated on the Crown Ground pitch, and shortly after the match was abandoned.

Bender was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where he underwent a brain scan.

The Wales under-21 international, who had made just four first-team club appearances in his career prior to Tuesday's game, is on a season-long loan deal from Colchester.

Accrington chief executive Rob Heys told BBC Sport: "Both sets of players were shaken by the incident, hence why we took the decision to call the game off. It's only a natural reaction when you see a player stay down for so long.

"It's something I never want to see again at Accrington. It was extremely distressing for everyone who witnessed it.

"Tom is now awake and he apologised because the medical staff had to cut off his socks. But he doesn't remember anything that happened during the game and we'll assess him further in the morning.

"I have to give fantastic credit to both Accrington and in particular Tranmere fans as they never complained when we called the game off.

"We would like to thank both sets of fans in sending the club their best wishes to Tom which we will pass onto him."

John Coleman, manager of League Two club Accrington, said: "Their striker was trying to get the ball. He was eager and it led to Tom's momentum going onto a full-blooded punch from Bavs.

"It was like double the force and the fact Tom didn't move when he hit the floor is a concern.

"The lads immediately knew something was wrong and waved the physio over straight away.

"He is now in the safest hands and we've just got to hope and pray everything is OK."

Tranmere boss Les Parry added: "It's a game of football and when someone's health is involved that's got to take precedence."

Stanley had taken the lead in the ninth minute when Kevin McIntyre's cross was turned into his own goal by Zoumana Bakayogo but League One side Tranmere came back with goals from Ash Taylor and Mustafa Tirkyaka, before play was halted.

Accrington Stanley said on the club's official Twitter account that the game had been abandoned due to a "serious injury" to Bender.

Also writing on Twitter, former Wales international Robbie Savage said: "Hope young Tom Bender is going to be ok. My thoughts are with him and [his] family."