BRENTFORD must be wondering what they have done to offend the football gods after their strikers' injury hoodoo struck again in Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Gillingham.
Leading scorer Charlie MacDonald became the latest casualty after he hit the deck in a crumpled heap following a stoppage time challenge from Gills centre-back Simon King.
All appeared innocent enough until anxious team-mates called for a stretcher, and it became clear something was seriously wrong.
The initial diagnosis was a dislocated shoulder, and, with Jordan Rhodes (metatarsal) and Nathan Elder (eye-socket) already ruled out for the season, and the loan window closed, it will be up to loanees Damian Spencer, Billy Clarke and Sam Williams to find the goals in the final push for the League Two title.
His injury completed a frustrating afternoon for MacDonald, who was well shackled by King in a game of precious few clear-cut chances.
David Hunt's magnificent 41st-minute free-kick, which left the Gills keeper rooted to the spot, was completely out of place with everything which had gone before it.
Simeon Jackson thought he had equalised seconds later, only for his effort to be ruled out for a foul on Alan Bennett.
However, Jackson duly bagged his 18th of the season from the spot just before the hour, after Andy Barcham induced a reckless challenge in the box from Karleigh Osborne.
Bees boss Andy Scott said: "I've no complaints about the penalty. You can't dive in, you have to stayon your feet.
"We spoke about it before the game and at half-time. He didn't stay on his feet, penalty, then goal. It happens.
"It's a harsh reality about being a young player in a football club at the top of the league that mistakes cost you, because it did on Saturday.
"We didn't have the composure on the ball that we've had recently. It was a big game for them - you could tell that at the end when they celebrated like they had won promotion.
"But that just shows the level we have got to. They got relegated last year, and they are jumping around like they won the league because they got a point at Brentford."