Stamford Lions’ unbeaten league run came to a disappointing end when they went down to a 2-0 defeat at home to Holbeach United Reserves on Saturday.
The Lions’ impressive form had earned them the Peterborough League Premier Division Team of the Month award for October that was presented before the game.
However, the free-flowing attacking football of the previous month has come to a halt as last week’s disappointing draw away at Sawtry was backed up by a labouring defeat at the hands of a well organised Holbeach United side.
Manager James Sheehan said: “It looks like we have picked up a bad habit of starting slowly with the belief we will win the second half.
“For two weeks now teams have defended deep, forcing us to open them up, and to everyone’s disappointment we haven’t been able to find the answer.
“The half chances have stopped flying in and we have hit the woodwork six times in two weeks.
“It’s important now that we shake this setback off and look to get back to winning ways.”
Holbeach took the lead early in the game when a long throw in was only half cleared to the edge of the area and a controlled half volley from Callum Simmonds flew through a crowded box and into the bottom corner.
Lions responded well and created good chances themselves to draw level, but Rob Montgomery had a shot blocked on the line and Tom Lees headed wide.
Rob Forster then sent his shot over the bar from close range before Tom Edwards had a dipping shot well saved.
The second half saw the Stamford side pen their visitors back as they dominated the possession, but Lions struggled to create space as Holbeach were content to sit deep and soak up the pressure and defend the lead.
Forster had a shot crash against the post and Edwards saw a long rang effort clip the crossbar while Dan Aust fired in a low cross from the left that was met by Lees but the goalbound shot was hooked away before it crossed the line.
Frustration was building as the Lions failed to draw level with top scorer Luke Ball being man marked throughout the game and on the receiving end of several late and heavy challenges that went unpunished.
As the clock ticked towards the end of the match the chances of an equaliser disappeared when surprisingly Holbeach doubled their lead.
Again a long throw into the box was headed clear before being fired back at goal. Shaun Sanderson blocked the shot that fell straight to Joe Fowler who guided his shot through a crowded box and past Aidan Finn to seal a 2-0 win and condemn Lions to their first defeat in 10 games.