A late score once more cost Melton RFC First XV victory as their wait for an elusive maiden league win continued on Saturday.
Melton scored two tries and held an 16-11 lead going into the final minutes at fellow strugglers Northampton Old Scouts, but a converted try gave the hosts a narrow 18-16 win.
It is the third time Gareth Collins’ injury-ravaged squad had lost leads late in the match after narrow defeats to Rugby and Wellingborough in the opening weeks of the season.
Melton came into the game on the back of a heavy defeat at West Bridgford where their superiority in the scrums was negated when the set-piece became unopposed early in the second half.
Shrugging off the wrongs and rights of that defeat, Melton began well in Northampton and led the Scouts 11-8 at half-time.
The visitors lost the excellent Ollie Circuit to concussion after the interval, but they held onto the lead, and indeed increased it, nudged ahead to lead 16-11 with five minutes left.
But once more Melton’s luck was out as Scouts had the last-gasp final say.
Melton were left with the small consolation of a losing bonus point as they sit bottom of the pile with three points from eight matches.
But there remains a bigger encouragement within the club as key players gradually return and performances steadily improve.
They will hope to shed the winless monkey from their backs when they host Oadby Wyggs on Saturday.
Kick-off at Burton Road is 2.15pm.