CHIPPENHAM Town's Calor League Southern Premier Division clash at Hungerford Town was abandoned tonight after a horror injury sustained by Bluebirds midfielder Rob Dean.

The 24-year-old has been sent to Swindon's Great Western Hospital after suffering a serious leg injury as a result of a ferocious tackle from Hungerford's former Chippenham midfielder Ian Herring around 26 minutes into tonight's game, which was goalless.

Early observations suggested that Dean, from Swindon, suffered a suspected dislocated knee, as well as a potential broken ankle, with the Bluebirds man requiring almost 30 minutes of attention from paramedics before being taken away from Bulpit Lane.

The challenge from Hungerford's Herring, who was shown a straight red card from referee Reuben Simon, sparked an angry confrontation between both sets of players and management, but attention soon turned to the stricken Dean.

Chippenham manager Mark Collier said: “We've all been in football long enough to know that injuries and broken legs happen, and it's not pleasant for anybody, but (the injury) was horrendous and as a bad as I've seen in 40 years of football.

“A lot of experienced players out there have not seen anything quite as bad as that too so our thoughts are with Rob.

“It's football and these things can happen but our thoughts are with Rob.

“The referee's made a wise decision in abandoning the game. Emotions were running high as soon as it happened and I can accept that but we're just concentrating on Rob at the moment.

“His dad was here and he's gone off to hospital with Rob, so we'll leave them alone now and get an update tomorrow morning.”

Chippenham chairman Neil Blackmore echoed Collier's sympathy for the injured Dean.

“The injury looked absolutely horrific from the sidelines and I'm sure it was for Rob so at the minute, our thoughts are just with Rob and his family,” said Blackmore.

“The important thing is to get him on the mend and I know that the lads were really cut up in the changing room because they're a close-knit bunch.

“They were very emotional, and understandably so. Mark and Tom (Jones) have got a tough job in trying to pick those guys up now.

“Tonight, I think we've seen the harsher side of football and it's not one that I, or certainly anybody else, will want to see again.”

Dean joined Chippenham from Swindon Supermarine in November last year and has impressed during his spell at Hardenhuish Park, scoring seven goals in a Bluebirds shirt.

CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben John, Callum Wright, Pete Monks, Bryan Smith, Jon Beeden, Greg Tindle, Joe McClennan, Rob Dean, Alan Griffin (c), Lee Phillips, James Guthrie.

Subs: Harley Purnell, Tyron Leigh, Corey King, Jake Simpson , Kent Kauppinen.