South Shields striker Carl Finnigan was knocked unconscious after colliding with Hyde United goalkeeper Peter Crook in Saturday’s big clash at Mariners Park between two Evo-Stik North challengers.

Shields remain top of the table after a 3-0 victory, though there was silence and concern around the ground early on in the game as the experienced frontman Finnigan was laid on the ground after contesting a ball with Hyde stopper Crook. Shields physio Andy Morris, assisted by Hyde’s sports rehabilitator Stefanie Todd, delivered swift care to Finnigan and he was given a warm ovation by all at Mariners Park as he was stretchered off.

An update on the club’s website had the following to say:

Finnigan took an accidental knee to the head in the seventh minute of the match, and after eight minutes of treatment was stretchered off.

An ambulance was called for at 3.10pm, and arrived to take the 31-year-old to hospital at 5.35pm.

The first on the scene to treat Finnigan was Shields physio Andrew Morris.

He said: “Carl was unconcious for about one-and-a-half minutes, and had swallowed his tongue.

“We had to rectify that situation first, and then fortunately I received assistance from Hyde’s physio and others while I was holding his airway open.

“Hyde’s physio supported Carl’s neck, because we couldn’t rule out a neck injury at that stage, and we got him into the recovery position.

“Carl came round, started communicating and opened his eyes, and we were then able to stretcher him off.

“He was later in and out of conciousness in the treatment room, and he now just needs to be checked over at hospital as he’s suffering from some short-term memory loss. He can’t remember anything after 2pm on Saturday.

“When he was leaving the ground, he was talking and alert, and hopefully I’ll be able to get an update from him later.

“I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing him a speedy recovery.”

In line with the FA’s concussion guidelines, Finnigan is not expected to be able to resume training until 14 days have passed.

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