TOWN manager Peter Jackson was today checking on the fitness of the Clarke brothers as he reviewed the 2-2 home draw with Colchester which ended Town's League I play-off hopes.
Jackson's ninth-placed side are eight points off the crucial sixth place cut-off with just nine points to play for after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser at the Galpharm.
Saturday's setback was made even more disappointing by injuries to centre-backs Tom and Nathan Clarke, who had been in outstanding form.
Tom, 17, limped off in the 68th minute after straining a hamstring while slide tackling frontman Marino Keith.
Nathan, 21, was forced out of the action after 86 minutes when he suffered a gashed lip in an aerial challenge with the same visiting player.
While Tom had post-match treatment from Town physio Lee Martin, Nathan was taken to hospital for stitches.
"We're still assessing the extent of Tom's injury while Nathan suffered a very nasty gash," reported Jackson.
"Both had been playing very well, and we were looking solid until they went off.
"Conceding another late goal was a huge disappointment, and I have to put the blame on (goalkeeper) Paul Rachubka, because he failed to deal with probably the worst corner Colchester put over all afternoon."
Centre-back Liam Chilvers forced home the goal from Kevin Watson's flag kick two minutes into the five added on.
Colchester had taken a 19th-minute lead through Neil Danns, only for quick-thinking Pawel Abbott to level with his 24th goal of the season 90 seconds later.
Abbott caught the Colchester defence cold with a quickly-taken free-kick, leaving visiting boss Phil Parkinson "absolutely livid" with referee Andy Woolmer.
Parkinson's mood got blacker when Danny Schofield lashed home Town's second on 62 minutes, much to the delight of a 10,831 crowd which included just 197 visiting fans.
But Jackson was the more downcast at the end, and added: "We had been on a great run, winning all our previous five games, but we didn't play particularly well on Saturday.
"It was crucial we won against Colchester to keep the pressure on the sides above us, and I thought we were going to cling on, but it wasn't to be and we've no chance of making the play-offs now."