Eight rounds remain in the Coastal Premier League and it's likely to be the same amount of time the Macleay Valley Rangers will have to do it without their captain Chad Applegate.
Twenty minutes into their important clash with Sawtell Scorpions the dominant striker was taken from the field with a broken foot.
Rangers coach Simon Tamblyn revealed it'll be an extended stay on the sideline.
"Chad got taken off after about twenty minutes so he's out for eight weeks," he told the Argus.
"He was replaced by a young bloke who'd played all of reserve grade."
Rangers didn't crumble though and went ahead with a lead through goals to Sean Brucesmith and Kurt Riordan.
Unfortunately, Macleay Valley then suffered another injury to one of their best.
"We were up 2-0 then with twenty minutes to go Troy [Ward] got injured and had to come off and then it just fell apart really," Tamblyn recounted.
"They scored two then probably the last five minutes we got back into it and pushed but losing two key players we struggled."
With Rangers sitting in fifth, three points behind Boambee in second and three in front of Coffs Tigers in seventh the next eight games couldn't be more important.
Without their star striker, the younger brigade will step up and show the competition what they're made off.
"Some young players will come in, it's a case of younger players now getting the opportunity to realise the intensity of first grade," Tamblyn said.
Tamblyn confirmed the man they call SBS [Sean Brucesmith] will be the main figure up front.
After spending the majority of 2020 in CPL and this year as well he's more than prepared.
Rangers will now play Kempsey Saints on Saturday in an incredibly important clash at Eden Street Sports Fields.
Saints currently sit one point behind Rangers in sixth.
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