EAST Thurrock United midfielder Ben Marlow has been ruled out for six weeks after suffering a fractured eye-socket and cheekbone.

Marlow suffered the injury in Rocks’ Essex Senior Cup third round defeat at Concord Rangers in midweek.

And boss John Coventry will be unable to call upon Marlow in tomorrow’s FA Trophy second qualifying round tie at Bognor Regis Town.

“It is very hard to say how long Ben will be out for, but I would imagine it to be a minimum of six weeks,” said Coventry.

“Admittedly, it’s a big loss for us and I feel for the boy.

“It’s the last thing we wanted at the moment because we already have a threadbare squad.”

Rocks will face Bognor for the second time in less than two months, having claimed a 3-0 win at the Grayers Graphics Stadium in September.

However, Bognor’s form has improved since - losing just three times and claiming five consecutive victories.

And Coventry admits he cannot afford to read into the triumph earlier in the season when the sides meet again.

“They have done well lately and I know their manager, Jack Pearce, reasonably well,” added Coventry.

“Bognor have players on loan from teams like Portsmouth, so they could cause problems.”