Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admitted the midweek Checkatrade Trophy win over Stoke City was one that came at a price.
The Shrimps earned their first victory in the rebranded competition as Jack Dunn, Cole Stockton and Peter Murphy gave them a 3-1 win at the Globe Arena on Tuesday.
Both sides ended the game with 10 men; Liam Edwards was sent off for Stoke while Bentley lost four players to injuries in the second half.
Aaron Wildig, Ryan Edwards and Alex Kenyon had already departed with knocks before Dean Winnard was stretchered off, capping a frantic few days for the defender.
“He became a father in the middle of the night,” Bentley explained of Winnard.
“He’s probably had three or four hours’ kip in the last two days but he was keen to play and make up for lost time.
“We were going to take him off because of his last 24 hours but Ryan Edwards got a knock so we had to take him off.
“Dean’s pulled his groin, Alex has a knee injury, Ryan a dead leg and Aaron got smashed three times in the first half.
“Victory has come at a cost but it was a good win against strong opposition with good kids and Premier League players in (Mame Biram) Diouf, (Phil) Bardsley, and Charlie Adam.
“It’s been a good exercise; we’ve won the game and played some good stuff.”
Wildig’s possible absence against Carlisle United on Saturday is the last thing the Morecambe camp needs.
Kenyon’s knock, coupled with Michael Rose’s suspension and Andy Fleming’s injury at Cambridge, means there is a space in the middle of the pitch.
It was a surprise Wildig made it as far as half-time on Tuesday after being on the wrong end of three challenges.
The first saw Stoke’s Liam Edwards sent off, the second was a late challenge from Adam and the third saw him taken out by City keeper Jakob Haugaard, seconds before Murphy made it 3-0 in Morecambe’s favour.
“Aaron Wildig is a key player for me,” Bentley said.
“He’s a very good player, and if we can get him up and running, you’ll see how good he is.
“He started at Grimsby and got a horrendous tackle which could have broken his ankle.
“It kept him out for two months and he worked hard to get himself back in on Tuesday night.
“From minute one he got walloped; every time someone got smashed it seemed to be him.”