Mark Cooper has said he expects midfielder Jordan Stevens to be missing for up to four weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in the 2-1 defeat at Barnet.

The recent signing went off two minutes before half-time, replaced by Charlie Cooper, and the manager admitted the physical data on his squad showed a number of players were at risk of picking up an injury.

He was without striker Jordan Young through injury with striker Malachi Linton, who has not featured in the previous two matchday squads, getting a rare 90 minutes.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the game, the manager said: “We had too many not at it in the first half which is probably down to the amount of games we have had, we are trying to rest some players that are key and we’ve lost Jordan Stevens tonight who we needed to rest.

We’ve got players who we cannot play at the minute so it is a tough one because we have lost another really good player (in Stevens).

Jordan Stevens. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The boss confirmed that Bristol City youngsters midfielder Josh Owers and striker Seb Palmer-Houlden had both been recalled by their parent club with only five of the nine (now seven) players on loan at Huish Park able to feature.

Against Barnet, defenders Owen Bevan and Edwin Agbaje, Plymouth Argyle man Ryan Law, and forwards Reo Griffiths and Andrew Oluwabori were the chosen five, with goalkeeper Will Buse not involved and Jack Clarke still at Chesterfield recovering from injury.

Cooper said that midfielder Charlie Coopergot through it” in the second half despite starting on the bench hoping for a rest, whilst striker Alex Fisher was recovered enough from illness to come on in the 74th minute. Matt Worthington, who missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Chesterfield through illness, returned and played the full 90 minutes at The Hive.

The manager added: “With the amount of players I needed to rest with the data showing they were at risk physically and it’s been proven right with Jordan Stevens, so we have to recover a few and make sure we are fresh for (the trip to FC Halifax Town on) Saturday.”

On his side’s performance, he admitted: “We got what we deserved today which was nothing.

We started the game really well, the first couple of minutes we had a couple of chances, and other than that I think we conceded about 150 corners in ten minutes which we defended really well. You have to do that when you come to Barnet and the bonus was getting to half-time at 0-0.

Jamie Reckord. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

In the second half, Finley Potter headed his second in as many matches to give the Bees a 70th minute lead before a mistake by Bevan allowed Nicke Kabamba to break through and double the advantage. Jamie Reckord pulled a goal back on 76 minutes with a header, but it proved to be a consolation.

Cooper said: “We huffed and puffed in the second half, but the two goals we conceded were really soft. The first one was a free header and the second one Bevs makes a schoolboy error, but he’s been brilliant.

Then we get back in to it with Recks (Jamie Reckord) and we have a chance at the end which I think was a good chance, it’s not to be but I thought Barnet deserved to win.

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