Bamber Bridge have lost a defender ahead of Saturday’s away clash against Prescot Cables.
Just days after scoring twice in Brig’s 2-0 victory at Ossett Town, young central defender Michael Muscat was recalled by his parent club, League One outfit Fleetwood Town.
Getting the top spot is not mathematically impossible.Neil Crowe
The youngster may still return to Neil Crowe’s promotion-chasing side at a later date.
But with former PNE star Jon Macken ruled out and central defender Glenn Steel 50/50 with a back injury, Crowe admitted his squad is stretched.
“We are back to the bare bones,” he said.
“We’ve lost Mike Muscat. He scored and did really well – he has been great.
“But he was on work experience, a youth loan, and he has been recalled by Fleetwood.
“It might be a short-term thing. He may be able to come back but he is definitely unavailable tomorrow.”
The 2-0 victory over Ossett moved Brig into fourth spot in the NPL First Division North table.
And Crowe was pleased with his side’s assertive performance.
He said: “We dominated from start to finish.
“It is a tricky place to go to and a tricky pitch to play on – it was a good win.”
Last season Brig missed out on promotion by a whisker after Ramsbottom United beat them 3-2 after extra time in the NPL First Division North play-off final.
At the start of the campaign the Brig boss aimed to be in touching distance of the play-offs by March.
And his men have surpassed his expectations after only losing one of their last nine matches.
Brig are currently just 10 points off league leaders Darlington 1883 and now Crowe has not ruled out a late charge for the top spot.
He said: “We need wins now. We have nine cup finals left.
“Getting the top spot is not mathematically impossible.
“We believe we can beat any of the top 10 teams.
“Like I said at the beginning of the season, come March, I want to be in touch with the play-offs. And we are.
“We are were we want to be at this stage in the season.”
Prescot are 20th in the table but Brig boss Crowe is not underestimating the Cables.
He said: “I think Prescot this year are a much improved side.
“Their managers Neil Finch and Neil Black have got them playing football.
“It wasn’t an easy match when we beat them 2-0 Southportare edging closer to safety in the Conference Premier.
Buoyed by a three-match unbeaten run, the Sandgrounders travel to Aldershot tomorrow four points clear of the relegation zone.
Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground means Paul Carden’s men have picked up five points from a possible nine.
Port have boosted their squad for the final run-in by signing Australian goalkeeper Seb Usai , who has been training with the team in recent weeks.
However, they have released Daniel Lloyd Weston, who is expected to be signing for Newcastle Town.
Carden said “We all wish Dan well and good luck in his future career.
“Dan wanted to play which I couldn’t guarantee and also has other outside football interests to pursue.”
Meanwhile, in the NPL First Division North, Clitheroe will warm-up for Monday night’s Lancashire FA Trophy final against Chorley at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium, with a trip to play-off hopefuls Spennymoor Town tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Lancaster City welcome Ossett Town to Giant Axe, while Kendal Town are away to Warrington.
Burscough host Droylsden at Victoria Park. earlier in the season and it will be a tough game again tomorrow.”