Midhurst’s home floodlit clash with East Preston was abandoned when Stags player Matt Mason suffered a double leg break.
Mason, who has just returned to Rotherfield for a second spell with the club, had come on at half-time – but 15 minutes later he was in agony and waiting for an ambulance after something of a freak collision.
The hosts took the lead through Gary Norgate, set up by a mazy Alex Brazier run, before EP hit back to lead 4-1 in a game watched by a bumper crowd of just over 200.
On the hour, EP were awarded a second penalty as Dan Huet rounded goalkeeper Patrick Cowell.
As Huet was brought down, he landed on Mason, with the defender suffering a double leg break and the game was abandoned as he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Midhurst chairman Mark Broughton said: “Matt broke his tib and fib in his left leg. He was taken to St Richard’s after the ambulance arrived from Worthing to pick him up. They re-aligned the leg and cast it.
“Matt underwent a successful operation at St Richard’s on Sunday to insert a metal rod inside his bone. He is now at home recuperating, and starting on the long road to recovery.
“We have a fundraising game now in the planning for Wednesday, December 7 at the Rotherfield. We hope to get a good crowd packed in and raise some funds for Matt and his young family at this important time of year.”
Everyone at Midhurst and EP - along with many other local football players and figures - have wished him well.
Strangely it was the second time this season an EP match had been abandoned because of a serious injury – and the same referee Alex Howard was in charge of both.
Earlier in the campaign, East Preston’s home clash with Oakwood was abandoned in the first half when the visitors’ Darren Tidey sustained a head injury.
East Preston boss Bob Paine said: “Our thoughts are with Matt Mason and we hope that he recovers quickly from a nasty injury.
“The players’ safety is paramount and calling the game off was the right decision.”
Midhurst visit St Francis in the league on Saturday and go to EP in the division one cup next Tuesday.
* Selsey have been targeting home success to start climbing division one – and they earned some on Saturday, beating Mile Oak 4-2.
Morgan Forry’s double and a James Parsons goal helped Steve Bailey’s side on their way.
They are at home again this Saturday, with Langney the visitors.
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