Lancaster City boss Phil Brown was left cursing his luck after an unusual set of circumstances contributed towards his team’s downfall on Tuesday night.
The Dolly Blues were beaten 3-0 at lowly Marine, but the final scoreline does not paint a full picture of the events.
The visitors were hampered by a series of injuries, which forced them into a major reshuffle during the first half and led them to play the entire second period with just 10 men.
City’s tale of injury woes began when Charlie Bailey landed awkwardly on his shoulder and within minutes Paul Jarvis was signalling to the bench after pulling his quad.
Before the half-hour mark, Brown was forced into making his third and final substitution when Mamadou Djabi felt his hip flexor go.
There was worse to come as Steve Williams limped into the dressing room at half-time nursing a pulled hamstring and was unable to return to the field for the second half.
In another twist to the tale, striker Tom Kilifin soldiered on throughout the entire 90 minutes despite sustaining a nasty open wound to his leg.
Brown admitted that the events were certainly unique as far as his long career in the game was concerned.
“In all my years in the game, I’ve never experienced anything like that before,”Brown said.
“To lose four players – three of them in the first 30 minutes – and then to have to play the second half with just 10 men, without wanting to make excuses, there were certainly mitigating circumstances.
“To have to use all my subs after 30 minutes, we had to shuffle the pack and we had people playing out of position.
“It knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit.
This weekend, City travel to play-off chasing Barwell and Brown admitted he is likely to be without all of the four players who did not finish the game on Tuesday night, while Kilifin is also a major doubt.
However, one positive is a number of players missed the match at Marine and will come back into contention.
Rob Henry, Glen Steel, Ricky Mercer, Ben Hudson and Hannu Tam are expected to be available, while Brown is hoping to delve into the transfer market between now and the weekend.
“I know that Barwell are pushing for the play-offs,” said Brown.