FC UNITED'S joy at a third successive league win - 2-0 over Harrogate Railway - was tempered by news that key midfielder Josh Howard will be out of action for three months.
The former Manchester United youth team captain had a knee operation on Friday, and it was discovered that the injury was worse than first thought and he will miss a large chunk of the season.
But manager Karl Marginson is not too perturbed after seeing Howard's replacement Liam George put in a fine performance as the Rebels proved too strong for Harrogate on Saturday.
George was at the heart of most of FC's best football.
He is in line to start again tomorrow night, when a win at Clitheroe would boost them into the promotion play-off zone for the first time.
And Marginson feels he has landed another quality act: "It's a blow losing Josh but Liam has now given me two good performances, and will get even better with a few games under his belt."
FC eased to victory, missing a hatful of chances. Simon Carden hooked in the opener on 13 minutes.
And it was the irrepressible Rory Patterson, now top scorer in the UniBond League first division, who hammered the second goal through a crowded penalty area after 52 minutes to secure the win.