After Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Ashby Ivanhoe, the hope among Holwell Sports fans was that it was just a bad day at the office.
But with players still missing due to holidays, and manager John Webster struggling to send out a settled side, Holwell fell to a home defeat to Anstey Nomads on Tuesday evening.
Holwell got off to a flyer when Kieran Foster fashioned a goal out of nothing on five minutes when his looping cross deceived keeper Hanley who let it drop over him and in under the bar.
A frenetic 15 minutes followed as Nomads tried to respond, but the home side had another good chance to extend their lead when Lochlan Murray brought the ball down to give Luke Phillips a chance at goal, but he missed the target.
It was Phillips last contribution as he was forced off with an Achilles injury on 16 minutes and was replaced by Holwell stalwart Ian Bitmead.
Anstey were beginning to click and full-back Sam Marshall breezed past Foster to equalise, running on to send the ball wide of keeper Richard Cragg.
Another good chance for Nomads saw Thurland allowed to run free on goal free, but he shot wide of the left-hand post with Cragg beaten.
Holwell were struggling up front with no recognised centre-forward, and it was hard to see where more goals would come from.
Nomads were on top for the rest of the half, creating three half-chances, but when Foster lost Marshall again, this time his effort was off-target.
But against the run of play it was Holwell who went into the break ahead.
Foster delivered a high free-kick into the box from the right, and with Bitmead bustling the centre-halves, the ball dropped to Ryan Page who converted an easy chance at the back post.
The second half started with hopes that Holwell could get on top, with the match there for the taking.
Page was given a good opportunity with time to settle and shoot four minutes in, but it went straight down the keeper’s throat.
Holwell swapped Murray for Fontoura to work some magic, but an error by Foster almost costs the home side, when Jack Lane was allowed clean through on goal, but the Nomads captain missed.
Fontoura did well on the right of the 18-yard box to wriggle free and sent in a cross which Hazeldine just failed to connect with.
But Nomads were level just after the hour when a long clearance put Tom Mangan through the middle to slot past Cragg.
Page was getting some good service, but failed to get the better of the Nomads defence, and Holwell were punished for missed opportunities with 10 minutes left.
Anstey finally broke down the spirited home defence when James Ireland did well to convert a cross from the right.
Holwell piled on the pressure trying to salvage something, but when Foster’s cross was headed down by Bitmead, Hazeldine fired over the bar, and their hopes had gone.
Anstey held on to win their second match in three, while Holwell will hope to chalk up their first win on Saturday when they entertain Graham St Prims at Welby Road (kick-off 3pm).
Holwell: Cragg, Foster, Ridout, Sharp, Woodcock, Murray (Fontoura), Underwood (Bloxham), Stevenson, Hazeldine, Phillips (Bitmead), Page. Subs not used: Maden, Smith.