Squires Gate came away frustrated on Wednesday night when they lost 2-1 at Northwich Victoria.
An 86th winner for the home side denied Gate a decent point on the road.
Andy Clarkson’s men performed valiantly as they more than matched one of the league’s big teams.
It was a vast improvement from Saturday’s draw at Padiham but it signals the end of Gate’s seven-game unbeaten run.
Gate’s first chance came when Riccardo Egidi picked the ball up deep and looked to play through Ric Seear, who just took too much time as Vics cleared the ball.
It took Northwich just 11 minutes to take the advantage in the game after the even opening exchanges.
Gate keeper Max Povey kept out a shot but could only turn it into the path of Joel Brownhill, who fired into the back of the net.
Gate’s heads did not drop though as Clarkson’s side kept their cool and continued to use an attractive style of play on a good pitch.
The equaliser came in impressive fashion through Seear.
The striker latched on to a long ball forward, saw the keeper off the line and sent the ball over his head from 30 yards out.
The home side almost took the lead early into the second half but, again, brave defending from the impressive Jacob Davis denied them.
From the resulting corner, Gate again defended well to clear their lines before coming close in seeing two penalty shouts for handball turned down.
Davis also went close when he hooked the ball over his shoulder but was cleared off the line.
The home side could – and maybe should – have been down to 10 men with 13 minutes of the game left when Gary Pett was pulled back on the edge of the box by the last man but the referee waved play on.
The sucker blow for Gate came with just four minutes of the game left when the home side took the lead.
Substitute Ryan Winder was given too much time on the edge of the box and fired a rocket of a shot straight through Gate’s defence and into the back of the net.
Although the loss ends Gate’s recent run, it leaves them sixth in the table and still fighting for a top-five finish.
On Saturday, Clarkson’s men welcome promotion-chasing Bootle to The Brian Addison Stadium who are hot on the heels of City of Liverpool for the league title.
Squires Gate: Povey, Mullen, Sumner, Davis, Rossall, Staunton-Turner, Ing, Boyd, Pett, Seear, Egidi. Subs: Charnley, Bamba, Riley.