Holwell Sports were made to pay the price for missed chances once again as Blaby and Whetstone took all of the points at Welby Road on Saturday.
The home side again sank plenty of commitment and effort into the East Midlands Counties League match, but once more another beatable side skipped down the road having nicked all three points.
A decent first-half performance and good start to the second period petered out as Blaby ground out a result, relying on their greater experience to dig something out of a game they looked like losing.
The first half was not for the purists and Blaby looked lacklustre, a shadow of the club’s previous sides, while Holwell huffed and puffed but could not make a breakthrough.
For Blaby, Leon Doughty and Adam Parry were the real threats as Doughty used his pace on the right wing, while Parry sent a couple of shots close.
However, the big moment of the first half saw Toby Warner’s dismissal for two bookable offences in the space of five minutes.
The first yellow card was shown for a kick out at Dean Randall after a hard tackle, right in front of the referee.
And just moments later Warner pressed the self-destruct button again when he took another swipe at a defender’s legs after going down in the box following a corner to earn his second yellow.
Holwell started the second half with vigour and five minutes in had their first real effort on goal when Brad Smith broke past a defender to go one-on-one with Blaby keeper Greatorex.
But his shot was too close to the keeper.
Holwell looked the business as the game went on, with Cowling and Smith combining again to go close.
Smith had the ball in the net soon after, but was ruled offside, and Kyle Reek then went close on 66 minutes before he was replaced by Shaun Smith.
However as the game wore on, the feeling grew among the Holwell supporters that the visitors would nick something.
And sure enough, with 73 minutes on the clock Blaby benefitted from some pinball in the Holwell goalmouth as they failed to clear a corner, and Lee Barratt pounced for the opener.
To their credit Holwell tried to get back on terms and came very close when a great left-foot volley from Shaun Smith was somehow turned away for a corner by Greatorex.
As often happens, pushing up to chase a game leaves gaps, and Holwell took one chance too many as Parry punished them to steal all three points.
It was tough on Holwell after the early effort, but missed chances cost them as Blaby’s more experienced squad prevailed – just.
On Saturday, Holwell face a tough trip to second-placed Anstey Nomads who have won seven of their last eight matches. Kick-off is 3pm.
The following Tuesday, they entertain mid-table Radford at Welby Road (kick-off 7.45pm).
Holwell: Binns, Wright, Bitmead, Woodcock, Hazeldine, Reek (S. Smith), B. Smith (D. Reeves), Stevenson, Randall, Chapman, Cowling,