Oakham United’s erratic form took a turn for the worst on Saturday with a 6-1 defeat at second-placed Netherton United.
They were five down at half-time and although substitute Dom Cawden-Bone’s strike 20 minutes from time was a cracking goal, it was too little too late.
The Rutland side remains fourth in the table despite conceding more than double the number of goals than the clubs around them in the top half of the table and goalkeeper Shane Hicks hasn’t been helped by the number of spot kicks his side has given away.
Oakham once again handed their opponents an advantage by conceding another penalty midway through the first half.
Netherton took Oakham’s kind offer and the floodgates opened.
Joint manager Pat Johnson said: “We gave away another penalty - I think that’s 19 already this season - and then we fell apart.
“They had a lot of corners and we only ever cleared the ball to the edge of the box.
“The only thing to play for in the second half was pride. We didn’t deserve anything on Saturday.”
Oakham had drawn 2-2 with Netherton earlier in the season and Johnson added: “They are a good side but not six goals better.”
To make matters worse for Oakham, they lost top scorer Nathan Arkle to an ankle injury that may keep him out of Saturday’s game at home to Stilton United.
Oakham, who hope to have striker Alex Brockbank available for selection, have drawn 2-2 with Stilton in the league and cup already this season, losing the cup tie on penalties.
Saturday’s match at Catmose College kicks off at 2pm.
Oakham’s reserves lost 3-1 at home to Warboys Town and United’s A team lost 3-0 to Baston in the PFA Minor Cup.
Cup report to follow
Oakham: Shane Hicks, James Dalby, Tom Bain, Jamie Forbes, Ben Cox, Eddie McDonald, Robbie Dance, Steve Smith, Ben Dickenson, Nathan Arkle, Will Lee. Subs: Nathan Bottomley, Dom Cawden-Bone.
Oakham A team’s cup report to follow.