Kettering Town have been left counting the cost of a night in Merthyr with two key players now facing lengthy spells on the sidelines.
The Poppies were beaten 2-0 at Merthyr Town in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division on Tuesday night as they were unable to follow up their 5-1 victory over Market Drayton Town in the first qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy last weekend.
Their latest defeat has left Kettering just three points above the relegation zone and with just one win from their last eight league matches.
And, with the pressure continuing to grow on him from the club’s fans, Marcus Law has now been dealt with more injury woe.
Youngster Ben Bradshaw, who had impressed after being given his chance in the first-team, was forced off in midweek and could be facing “six to eight weeks” on the sidelines.
And Law revealed Liam Bateman will also be out for the remainder of this year after a recurrence of a hamstring problem.
“It’s frustrating and with Ben it could be his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which would mean he will miss six to eight weeks,” Law said.
“Liam has had a step back with his hamstring and I don’t believe we will see him this side of Christmas now.
“Lewis Hornby has been set back a couple of weeks and we are not sure when Paul White will be back.
“We haven’t been able to name a consistent 11 for various reasons and I believe that has cost us.”
As far as the midweek loss was concerned, Law was left telling an all-too-familiar story.
“It was another case of us not having enough quality at the right times or making the right decisions, despite us seeing plenty of the ball,” the Poppies boss added.
“The first goal has come from a cross into the area and we have allowed their player too much space to turn and shoot.
“That meant we were chasing the game and then we have been caught on the counter at the end.”
The Poppies return to action on Saturday when they head to St Ives Town, who third-from-bottom in the table and just four points behind Kettering.