A HORRIFIC double leg break to Concord star Harry Elmes saw their match against Thurrock abandoned early in the second half on Saturday.

Ben Walster’s over the ball challenge in the 52nd minute broke the right tibia and fibula of the Beachboys striker, who has scored 19 goals this season.

Walster was sent off for the foul, and after a long delay with both teams going off the game was called off with the score at 0-0.

Elmes was rushed to Southend Hospital with his cousin and fellow Concord player James Elmes and strike partner Jason Hallett in convoy.

Concord manager Dan Cowley said his team wanted to play on, but they respected the decision, adding Elmes will be a huge loss.

“We’re all devastated - it was a horrific tackle," said Cowley.

“Nobody goes into a game wanting to break someone’s leg, but it was a cowardly tackle.

“But we just feel sorry for Harry. He’s been absolutely fabulous for us in the three or four seasons he’s been with us and now he faces a long lay-off to try and save his career. He’s irreplaceable.”

On Saturday evening, Thurrock chairman Tommy South said: "Everyone at Thurrock wishes Harry all the best, we are very concerned about his injury and we hope that he is back playing for Concord soon."

The drama came in a game which had seen very few chances on a bitterly cold day.

Thurrock played positively from the start looking miles better than their place at the bottom of the table suggests.

But they struggled to cut through Concord’s defence when they reached the final third.

It was Elmes who had the first opportunity eight minutes in when he controlled a looping cross from Reece Harris - who is now bound for New York to coach at an academy - but Jack Jeffries blocked his shot.

Balls from Richie Jones and Stuart Thurgood fizzed dangerously across Concord’s six yard box in the 25th and 41st minute respectively, but both times they could not find the extra touch from a team-mate to score.

Matt Turpin got Thurrock’s only shot in the first half, but sent his edge of the area effort over in the 43rd minute.

And in first half injury time, Concord centre back John Easterford was unable to get a solid touch in the box onto Harris’ free kick and keeper Will Viner was able to grab it.

Concord: Chambers, Osifuwa, Glozier, Cowley, Fry, Easterford, Gordon, White, Harris, H Elmes, Stokes.

Thurrock: Viner, Jones, Walster, Guest, Jeffries, Thurgood, Green, Spence, Turpin, Imbert, Honesty.