There was a quick reshuffle of the pack required behind the scenes at Brunton Park just moments before kick-off on Saturday afternoon when forward Zach Clough indicated during the warm-up that his hamstring didn’t quite feel right.
Explaining the situation after the game, manager Chris Beech said: “I told you he was struggling a little bit. He tried to complete the Halifax game, he trained yesterday [Friday] but his hamstring tightened up again.
“Hopefully he’ll be fit for, maybe not Tuesday, maybe next Saturday, who knows. It isn’t great because he’s been brilliant in pre-season, and he’ll be brilliant for us this season.
“I did mention on Thursday that there are 45 more games this season and it’s vital that we try to get everybody right for it. He tried his best, he’s an honest lad, and I’m glad he did what he did because he didn’t want to let himself down, let us down and, of course, he didn’t want to let the supporters down.
“There’s no hiding the fact that he’s a good player, one of our best attacking players, so 10 minutes before the game isn’t the best of times to receive that news.
“It isn’t something that’s lingering but you have to be careful with this type of injury. This time last year we had Omari Patrick out for two or three months and Brennan Dickenson out for four months.
“They were really bad hamstring injuries. You do get niggles like this because he’s been front running, excellent in training, and he is ready to go. It’s just a shame he wasn’t quite right today.
“But we coped, we dealt with it, and when we look at how the team played and represented the community, well done lads, they were unfortunate not to win.
“We had to readjust quickly with how we were going to do set plays, the shape of the team and our plan off attack, and the boys were great.”