Holwell Sports slumped to defeat on a tough Saturday afternoon at home to high-flying Stamford side Blackstones.
Blackstones looked sharp from the off and were given a great start when Clark took advantage of hesitation to head over keeper Matt George against the post, with Edmonson poking home the rebound.
Holwell Sports composed themselves, with Stevenson and Peberdy getting a foothold in midfield.
The home side were having the lion’s share of possession, with Matt Hendey and McGarry supplying a string of crosses into the Blackstones box.
O’Grady had a couple of half-chances before the hosts were rocked again when a cross from the right was spilled and Papworth was on hand to give Blackstones their second.
Holwell’s response was admirable. Full-backs Clark and Lane were seen more and more in attack, adding to the danger in the wide areas, and the pressure finally paid off when a Ambrose’s free-kick picked out the run of Peberdy who powered a superb header past Bellairs.
Holwell had the visitors reeling and should have been awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Papworth seemed to block Matt Hendey’s shot with an outstretched hand.
But referee Hardie inexplicably waved away the heated appeals to the astonishment of the home side and relief of the visitors.
The second half continued in the same vein with Holwell having good control of the game, but without too much of a goal threat.
The game turned on its head on the hour mark when, from a harmless free-kick, the visitors were awarded a penalty when Bitmead was adjudged to have fouled Clark.
The Blackstones danger man coolly accepted the opportunity to restore his side’s two-goal cushion.
The hosts made changes, but they became very disjointed and lost all cohesion.
For the first time in the game, Blackstones were looking very dangerous on the counter.
Holwell went close when Lane’s superb cross was flicked over Bellairs, but Stevenson opted to pass instead of shoot when in a great position.
Blackstones had numerous chances to kill off the game, with Holwell having Dunlop to thank for some excellent defending to clear up the danger on three separate occasions.
But the visitors finally got their fourth to seal Holwell’s fate.