With their game called off due to the weather, Todmorden Borough had a hastily arranged friendly - but at a cost.
They played on an artificial pitch in Manchester - but lost their and the league’s leading scorer Oliver Wood with a broken ankle.
With their home West Lancashire Division Two league game called off they travelled to play Bacup Borough Reserves, who included mainly youngsters, many of whom had played for top Academy sides including Manchester United and Manchester City.
“It was great run-out for us as we were desperate for a game, but it cost us,” said manager John Gilford.
Wood picked up the ankle injury early in the second half and it was later diagnosed as a hairline fracture.
He is expected to be out for at least six weeks as Borough prepare for a promotion drive.
The injury resulted from a fairly innocuous challenge and left Wood, who leads the Division Two’s goal scoring table with 17 goals this season, to hobble off.
“It’s now up to someone else to step up and perform in the coming games,” said Gilford.
The Bacup team were a good footballing side, but in the end Borough’s greater experience, especially in defence, told and they were convincing winners.
There were two goals each for Daniel Lively and Dean Farry and the other two were added by Dave Patrick and Ryan Baxter.
“Despite the injury it was a really good workout for us and much better than a training match or session,” said Gilford.
Borough are now preparing to resume league action on Saturday away to next-to-bottom club Bolton County.
They are handily placed in third in the division and results for other leading contenders have favoured them so that no team has pulled away.
Borough are expecting to come away with a result at Bolton County, but are taking nothing for granted.
“There are no easy games in this league,” said Gilford.
But Borough must be confident, having beaten Saturday’s opponents 4 - 0 at home earlier in the season.
“We have to start winning these games. We’ve drawn far too many so far,” he said.