RUNCORN'S strike problems are piling up ahead of the weekend FA Trophy first-round trip to Alfreton Town after it was confirmed Lee Kissock broke a leg in Tuesday's win at Vauxhall.
And Accrington Stanley hitman Lutel James is unlikely to provide Alvin McDonald with an instant solution.
The Linnets boss is almost resigned to his move for James ending in failure.
McDonald - unbeaten in four games as Run-corn boss - is now facing up to being without three strikers for Saturday's tie.
Lee Kissock has joined Carl Rendell (suspected hernia) and Carl Furlong (hamstring) on the sidelines.
However, Rendell will train tonight and there is an outside chance he could be fit for bench duty
McDonald's worst fears over Kissock, who was injured in a tackle from behind, were realised when initial X-rays showed at least one break with a further examination pending.
The manager said: 'Lee is gutted. He has just been getting a run in the team and starting to get that match fitness he has lacked in the last couple of years.'
McDonald had already confirmed an interest in James, the unsettled 32-year-old St Kitts-Nevis international.
But more affluent Nationwide North clubs, including Droylsden and Harrogate, are in the running and James would reportedly prefer to stay in the Nationwide Conference.
The only consolation is Martin Molyneux, an emerging talent in Vauxhall's Lancashire League side under McDonald, has impressed in two cameo appearances up front.
He is one of four players registered from General Chemicals - the others being midfieldmen Ashley Siner and Paul Hives plus centre-forward Ian Cocks.
Left-winger Stuart Wright signed from Altrincham last week and McDonald has announced the capture of Gresley Rovers' utility man Carl Brown, a Runcorn triallist in pre-season.
Brown plays on the left or behind the front two but is Trophy-tied.
However, midfieldman Thomas Fields, who played and scored in the Liverpool Senior Cup game at Prescot Cables, should be available after a dispute over his registration.
Runcorn lost 4-0 in the league at Alfreton in September. Captain Steve Carragher (ankle) is doubtful while Tom Spearritt (Achilles) is likely to be out for another six weeks.