Soham Town Rangers boss Robbie Nightingale admits he feared for Norwich United defender Andy Eastaugh after horrific clash of heads

Norwich United's Andy Eastaugh was treated on the pitch at Julius Martin Lane before being taken to

Norwich United's Andy Eastaugh was treated on the pitch at Julius Martin Lane before being taken to Addenbrooke's. Photo: NonLeagueFootballTV - Credit: Archant

Soham Town Rangers joint-manager Robbie Nightingale admits he was scared for Norwich United’s Andy Eastaugh after the defender suffered a serious head injury which forced their Ryman League tie to be abandoned after just 16 seconds.

Eastaugh was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital after a horrific clash of heads with a Soham opponent within the opening 30 seconds of yesterday’s encounter, and Nightingale says that everyone at Julius Martin Lane could see the severity of his injury.

“It was the coming together of two big guys,” Nightingale said. “We knew it was bad from the player’s reactions. Seeing a player in a heap unconscious is scary.

“Our lad didn’t think he had hit him with his head, but as soon as we saw him laying there we knew it was a bad one straight away.”

Eastaugh, brother of Norwich United boss Steve, was also celebrating his 30th birthday yesterday.

“A situation like that is never good but it’s worse when it’s the manager’s brother and on his 30th birthday,” Nightingale said.

“We gave them the choice whether to play on or not and I think the right decision was made.

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“Seeing him laying there makes football irrelevant. We wish him a speedy recovery and I hope he’s back playing again as soon as possible.”

Hospital scans showed that Eastaugh had suffered severe concussion but no brain damage, and the defender took to Twitter to thanks his team mates and staff at Soham for their support.

He said: “The support is staggering and I can only thank you all for so much love. Memory is still a bit dodgy but all is ok.

“I would like to say a massive thanks to Soham Town Rangers for your understanding and cooperation - not that I can remember it.

“Huge thanks to Norwich United and all my team mates for the love you have shown. Very humbled to have such great mates.”

The postponed fixture has been rearranged and will be replayed on Tuesday October 25 (7.45pm).