TRIALIST Ellis Deeney’s hopes of landing a professional deal with Wanderers were dealt a serious blow when a cut-up pitch led to him picking up a groin injury.

Blues staff had reservations about the state of the pitch at Farnborough before kick off in Wednesday night’s friendly and the referee abandoned the tie at half time.

That was after defender Deeney, on trial from non-league Worcester City, went down in a heap after slipping on the treacherous surface and picking up an injury that could sideline him for some time.

Deeney, brother of Watford’s star striker Troy, was one of four trialists fielded by Wanderers but after being stopped in his tracks by the injury it looks unlikely he will play any further part in Blues’ pre-season campaign.

Wanderers’ assistant manager Richard Dobson said the door is open for the player to return to Adams Park in the future however.

Dobson said: “It’s a shame. We’d only seen him for a couple of days but he’s a great kid, a really honest, hard working lad and I like him a lot.

“It’s one of those things football throws at you from time to time. He’s excited he’s got a trial and an opportunity at a Football League club, and next thing you know he’s nursing an injury and might be out for a while.

“It looks like a groin and not a particularly good one. We’ll keep in contact with him and see how he is over the next couple of days.

“He said he slipped, he thinks it was the uneven surface that contributed to it. I didn’t see what he did personally, so it’s difficult to tell, but he said he felt he slipped on part of the uneven ground.

“Everyone else was OK, the referee’s making sure it didn’t happen to any others. He’s got a job to do with the health and safety of the players. It took a brave man to come into the dressing room and say ‘that’s it’.”

The field of play was heavily sanded and, with Farnborough in administration, the pitch appeared not to have been worked on over the summer.

Dobson said: “He [the referee] had reservations about it before the game. We had reservations in the warm-up, if I’m honest. He’s probably made the right call overall. It’s not in great condition – with the club in administration these things don’t get done.

“Normally, I have to say, Farnborough’s surface is perfect. It’s the first time I’ve come here and been disappointed. It went from hard to soft with the sand and the turf in the goalmouth is loose.”

Dobson quipped: “I think when our centre forward disappeared underneath the turf when he scored the second goal, it didn’t do the referee’s mind any favours.”

Wanderers were 2-0 up at the time of the abandonment courtesy of a brace from Philip Roberts, a Republic of Ireland youth international who played in the Scottish Premier League for Inverness Caledonian Thistle last season.

He was joined in attack by Dutch striker Arsenio Halfhuit, while Deeney was paired in defence by Borehamwood youngster Richard Hastings.

Dobson is hoping Blues will be able to run the rule over them again next week.

He said: “We have to speak about it and see what we do with them. Arsenio’s flown in from Holland for the week so it makes it difficult for him. It’s not ideal because we wanted to see them for 90 minutes.

“We’ve got a game against Burnham next week. We’ll use a younger squad so we might give them a game then.”