Bamber Bridge have been dealt a huge blow with the news that captain Matt Lawlor faces a long spell on the sidelines.
The Brig skipper has been out injured since the middle of last month after suffering a nasty eye injury during the 1-0 victory over Ossett Albion at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
It appeared the central defender was making a good recovery as the swelling in his face began to decrease.
However, a scan last week showed that he has suffered a fractured eye socket and he immediately underwent an operation to insert a metal plate into his face.
Boss Neil Reynolds said: “Matt has had an operation on his eye socket so he’s going to be a minimum of six to eight weeks out.
“All in all, he’s going to be out for three or four months, so he’s a big miss, a big blow for us.
“It was looking like he was recovering, he was experiencing no pain, but it’s come back that he’s fractured his eye socket.
“They rushed him in for the operation and kept him in for a couple of days.
“He didn’t look too good when we went to see him the other day.
“He’s had some metal put in there, but he’s on the road to recovery now – we’ll just have to battle on without him.”
Brig suffered their first defeat in 13 games on Saturday when they narrowly lost 1-0 away to Ossett Town at Ingfield.
The loss was not enough to see them deposed from the top of the NPL First Division North, although they are now level on points with second-placed South Shields, who have three games in hand.
“As daft as it sounds, I was not disappointed after the game on Saturday,” Reynolds said.
“In fact, I was probably the other way. The way we played is as good as we are going to play.
“It was just one of those games.”
This weekend, Brig travel to Warrington Town in the first round of qualifying in the FA Trophy.
Meanwhile, in the NPL Premier Division, Lancaster City have a difficult task tonight as they look to bounce back this evening after suffering only their third defeat of the season on Saturday.
The Dolly Blues were beaten 4-3 by Halesowen Town at the weekend and this evening they travel to league leaders Altrincham.
In the First Division North, Kendal Town welcome Hyde United to Parkside Road.
Burscough are at Skelmersdale United in the Liverpool County Senior FA Cup.