WITTON Albion expect to be without Matty Devine for the foreseeable future due to the recurrence of a hamstring injury.

The full-back played 90 minutes in last Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Workington but missed Saturday’s encounter with Coalville.

It is not known how long his absence will last.

“I’m frustrated and so is Matty,” said manager Carl Macauley.

“He told me he was ready to play again, and now he’s hurt.

“When results aren’t going well, players want to be out there with the rest of the team to help.

“I don’t know if that’s what has happened this time around, but you have to be careful with an injury like that.

“He’s a big loss to us, of course, because in my opinion he’s the best in the league in that position.”

Devine limped off during a 2-1 defeat at Coalville in September, and sat out for three weeks before playing half an hour as a substitute at Hednesford earlier this month.

The 23-year-old first suffered the injury in March, and he watched from the side-line for a month.

He returned in time to help Witton to secure promotion via the play-offs, and was named in the Northern Premier League First Division South team of the season.

However the same complaint has restricted him to only nine appearances during the current campaign.

Macauley said: “I don’t want him to rush his recovery; he has to be 100 per cent because we don’t want to be in a situation where he plays one game and then misses the next three – what’s the point?”

The Albion boss has responded by recruiting Danny McKenna from Runcorn Linnets.

The teenager impressed during a brief spell last term, and has done so again during seven starts this time around.

He was the best player on the field during a 5-2 victory against the Ravens last weekend.

“Danny is a great kid and he’s willing to learn,” said Macauley.

“He has a great future ahead of him, and he’s done well for us.”

“It hasn’t been easy for him because there is a massive gap between this level and the one he’s played at previously.”

“He’s not had the benefit of coming to us in the summer and adjusting to what we want from him.

“Instead he’s doing that as he goes along and hasn’t let us down.”

Witton head to Nantwich on Saturday, when they hope to record a third successive league win.

A trip to Runcorn Town follows on Wednesday in the Cheshire FA Senior Cup.