GREAT Harwood have suffered a major blow with the loss of striker John Eastham.
The hitman took his tally to 11 goals for the season in the 2-2 draw against fellow NWCL Division One strugglers Formby but then fell in an inocuous challenge and broke his arm in a couple of places.
"I am gutted for the lad," said chairman Bill Holden. "He missed a lot of last season after an operation on his knee and now it looks like he will miss the rest of this season.
"They have talked about inserting plates so we know it is a bad injury. He has had atrocious luck and it is a bad blow for us."
Bottom club Harwood would have needed Eastham in top form as Harwood make the short trip to Bacup in the third round of the Challenge Cup tonight (ko 7.45pm).
They need to pick themselves up after being disappointed with the Formby draw.
"It is getting serious now in the league and we needed a win in that game really," admitted the chairman.
But they can give themselves a rest from league pressure and try and go one better than they did against Bacup earlier this season, when the two sides drew.
On that day Paul Mashiter scored a 90th minute penalty and the 14-goal striker is hoping to end a three-game goal drought.
"Mashy might not have scored for a couple of games but he has done well and worked hard. The goals will come for him," added the chairman.
Bacup boss Brent Peters switched the game from Saturday to Friday in the hope of attracting a bigger support. "It is a big game and we want a good crowd and we feel playing Friday will do that," said Peters.