Holwell Sports got off to the worst possible start as their search for a first league point of the season continued on Saturday.
Having conceded 10 goals in their opening two games to Rushden and Higham, and Aylestone Park, Holwell would have been keen to keep things tight at St Andrews.
But Neil Miller’s side were behind after just three minutes from the home side’s first attack when a quick corner found Daniel Page unmarked to put Saints ahead.
Yet Holwell responded positively and were level 10 minutes later.
After good work down the right flank, Leighton Nicholson did well to combine with Vernon who sent in a low cross for Gaskin to bundle in.
The rest of the half was even as both teams probed, but could not gain an advantage, with the home side slightly more settled.
Holwell were finding the right side the more productive with some decent balls in by Nicholson and Gaskin, but without takers in the middle.
The visitors almost went ahead after 22 minutes when Nicholson fed Alfie Gaughan who looked likely to score, but he was pushed off the ball as he prepared to pull the trigger.
St Andrews pushed on and again Holwell allowed a midfielder to stroll through their ranks before he was brought down just inside the box for a penalty.
Keeper Ben Challis was sent the wrong way by Toby Wells as St Andrews restored their lead just after the half-hour.
The second half was much better from Holwell as they took a pounding by St Andrews in the early stages, but Coser and Dunlop at the back coped well, and Challis got down well to turn away a decent attempt.
Ian Bitmead went close for Holwell on the hour after Clark and Nicholson fashioned an opening from a corner.
The visitors had a real scare before full-time when the St Andrews left-winger was allowed to go straight through again, but shot wildly over the bar.
Saturday’s basement battle with bottom Bourne Town already looks an important match for Holwell as both sides strive to break their duck.
Kick-off at Welby Road is 3pm.