STEVE Davis admits losing key men Andy Kinsey and Danny Griggs to injury is a hammer blow to Nantwich Town.
The strikers have plundered 29 of the 50 goals the Dabbers have scored this season. But Griggs is ruled out for the time being with a suspected hernia, while Kinsey was stretchered off with a serious ankle injury on Saturday.
The injuries could not have come at a worse time, with the visit of third-place Salford City coming up at the weekend, and the massive cup clash with FC United of Manchester on the horizon.
Davies said: 'I won't pretend it is not a big blow to us. I said before that I was worried we relied on those two for goals too much, and now we will be put to the test.
'But we have Andy Bott back on Saturday, and Matt Lake is getting back into his stride, so we still have the numbers to do a job. I will also try to bring someone in.'
'We are now a place behind Salford so it is a huge game for us. Not only can we not afford to lose, I want to win every game at Jackson Avenue. The lads will have to dig in and battle, and prove to me that we can live without Griggs and Kinsey.'
Griggs limped off in the early stages off the 1-0 win at Flixton in midweek, complaining of severe abdominal pain.
By then, the Dabbers were in the lead courtesy of an early Adam Beasley strike. They held on for maximum, but rarely played to their full potential.
At Curzon, who themselves are emerging as promotion contenders in Division One, a poor pitch contributed to ankle injuries to both Kinsey, in the sixth minute, and midfielder Paul Donnelly, on 40 minutes.
Home striker Michael Norton forced a smart save from keeper Rob Hackney in highlight of the first-half, while 17-year-old Marc Hubbard came on for Donnelly, just before the interval arrived at 0-0.
Curzon took the lead in the 49th minute. A cross from the left was met by the unmarked Steve Moore who powered a header past Hackney.
On the hour mark James Marrow, fighting on despite a rib injury, unleashed a super 20-yarder that flew just
past the upright. But the Dabbers were fortunate to see a Moore effort rebound off the post seconds later.
Moore, who has 18 for the season, had a goal disallowed as Curzon pushed to extend their advantage, and Nantwich simply had no answer as they slipped to their third defeat of the season.
* Nantwich Town have admitted they are now unsure when their League Cup tie with FC United will take place. United have refused to accept Nantwich's decision to move it back 24 hours, to Sunday November 12, and Steve Davis admitted: 'It's up in the air again. We are trying to sort it out.'
Nantwich U16s take on Stoke City U16s at Jackson Avenue, next Wednesday (Nov 4) evening.