Blackstones suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Oadby at home on Saturday.
Once again Stones started lively but with their first real attack, after 4 minutes of the game, Oadby’s Courney Read opened the scoring with a tight angled near post drive having nicked the ball from the Stones’ right back.
It was the visitors who then dominated play showing why they were top.
Stones battled but lacked the killer punch to convert opportunities in front of goal.
Adam Scotcher was thwarted by the Oadby keeper, defence and off-side trap.
Addy Staffeiri was also marked out of the game, showing that the Oadby management remembered their earlier home fixture.
The half continued in a scrappy fashion, any Stones’ breaks were dealt with by harsh and cynical defending, disrupting any flow for the home team.
Just before the break Cameron Powell doubled the visitors’ lead.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with sustained pressure from Oadby but Stones’ defence rallied and withstood the onslaught.
In the 63rd minute the referee awarded a penalty to Oadby. All present expected the ball to rattle the net and increase the lead, all but keeper John Swales, recalled to duties between the posts with Lee Crockett transferring to Bedford Town in the week, who pulled off a remarkable save to his left to deny a third goal.
The game then entered into a period of pressure from Stones who threw all they had into the game, with Scotcher, Stafferi and Barber all making the keeper earn his fee.
Blackstones threatened again with a break from his own half by Davies, through the midfield, before slotting the ball to Scotcher in the 18 yard box who tried to turn only to be upended. The referee judged the challenge to be fair, and another promising break fizzled out.
When the final whistle blew it was once again disappointment for Stones, who were once more victim to early defensive lapses.
Next Saturday Stones are away against Bugbrooke St Michaels, a game on paper Stones can win to respark the form last seen at the end of last year.
Blackstones: J Swales, G Evans, T Davies (J Curran), C Lenton, G Hayes, G Staffeiri (C Downs), Matt Barber, A Boome, A Staffeiri, A Scotcher, S Strange (D Carr). Subs unused, K Arthur, O Uglow.