Oakham United will be hoping the return of some key players can turn matches they have dominated but lost into much-needed wins.
It was the same old story on Saturday when United travelled to Leverington Sports, controlled much of the ChromaSport Peterborough League Premier game but lost 4-2.
Manager Wayne Oldacre cannot wait for the return of former UCL striker Michael Nelson, who made a big impact earlier in the season before suffering fractured ribs in the 7-2 loss at Moulton Harrox in November.
He is hopeful Nelson will be back for the PFA Senior Cup trip to Netherton United in the second week of January.
And the week before that, centre-back Jamie Forbes, out injured for 10 games, is scheduled for a comeback for the trip to Whittlesey Blue Star.
“We had eight missing on Saturday,” said Oldacre, “and an outfield player in goal, so we could do with some of them back.”
He said: “It’s a bit of a strange one - we are doing the right things but we don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green at the moment.
“We are dominating possession. We must have had about 70 per cent in the first half but went in 3-0 down at half-time.
“Even the ref said to me after the game that he couldn’t believe we hadn’t won the game.
“We’re playing good football, playing it out from the back. But we’re probably overplaying it in the final third, trying to get the perfect goal.
“They had three chances in the first half - and scored three times.”
Leverington’s first came in the ninth minute after a long throw-in was somewhat fortunately headed in.
On the half-hour, the home striker was allowed to turn inside and place an excellent finish for the second.
Then two minutes before half-time, with centre half Nathan Arkle up for a corner, the Leverington keeper managed to grab the ball and hit it quickly upfield for the striker to slot a breakaway goal.
“At half-time I said to them when we get within 15 to 20 yards, we needed to get shots in,” Oldacre added.
Within two minutes Danny Barker had answered his call with a 47th-minute strike.
Ashley Clipston then ran onto a pass from an angle to fire home Oakham’s second on 68 minutes.
But as United chased an equaliser, they left openings for Sports who managed to get in behind them a couple of times.
Makeshift keeper Chris Steel had to pull off a superb save, pushing one destined for the top corner over the bar.
Oakham had a goal disallowed for offside before the home side sealed the victory with a late fourth goal.
United stay fourth from bottom in the league and on Saturday travel to Parson Drove, who languish two places below them.