Dallison’s delight of Crawley Town debut turns to disaster with toe break

Crawley v Plymouth. Football. Tom Dallison.  Pic Jack Beard DT4A3427 SUS-160222-170548001
Crawley v Plymouth. Football. Tom Dallison. Pic Jack Beard DT4A3427 SUS-160222-170548001

Tom Dallison’s pride of making his Football League debut on Saturday has turned into disaster as it turns out the defender has broken a toe.

The 20-year-old Brighton & Hove Albion under-21 centre-back joined Reds on a month-loan deal on Friday and put in an impressive debut against Plymouth.

The former Arsenal player, who joined the Seagulls back in 2013, gave an assured display with a good reading of the game and was noticeably vocal.

But news broke on Tuesday that the defender has had to return to his parent club after suffering a broken toe on his debut, with Dallison tweeting he was ‘gutted’.

Speaking after the match on Saturday, blissfully unaware of the injury, the youngster said: “It’s a nice moment, my family came down as well, so it is a proud moment for all of us.

“It’s nice to get a point on my debut as well. It wouldn’t be nice to come away with a loss after everyone dug in and gave 100 per cent.

“I’m very pleased. I think it was a good point, Plymouth are on a good run of form, but the team work ethic and desire, I think we fully deserved a point in the end.

“We showed a good resilience, not just the back-four, I think we defended well all over the pitch and it paid off.

“The fans were behind us and they made the difference. It was nice for Shamir Fenelon to get a goal as well, he is an old Brighton team-mate and has welcomed me in with open arms and made everything a lot easier.

“Having only signed on Friday, the gaffer and everyone has welcomed me very well, which has made the process a lot quicker.”

It was Dallison’s first experience of senior football having not yet made an appearance for Albion’s first team. He has previously had loan spells at Dartford last season and with Braintree at the start of this campaign.

But the defender is keen to improve himself and get himself into the team down at Crawley’s Sussex rivals.

He said: “I would like to thank Brighton for letting me out for this opportunity and playing some men’s football which is a great experience for me. I feel the benefit myself definitely.

“Between the under-21s and this level, the physicality is a world of difference, really.

“Probably technically, in the under-21 league you have better players, but the physicality and then decision-making at crucial times is different.

“That could change whether you come away with a point, three points or getting beat. Decision-making, a bit of maturity, there are a lot of things.

“I am trying to work myself up the ladder slowly and gradually and improve myself as a player, so I can give the gaffer back at Brighton the best player to put in front of him to hopefully put in his squad or his team whenever he feels I am ready.”

Luton was set to be the last game of Dallison’s month loan spell, but he now expected to be out for two to three weeks.

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