Heanor Town suffered their first defeat in four games on Saturday when they lost 3-0 on their long trip to North Yorkshire to play Pickering Town.
Pickering and Heanor are neck and neck in the league with both teams on the edge of the top six and aiming to push on.
But the Lions, who have had a hectic backlog of game to make up in recent weeks, have been hit by a number of injuries and suspensions.
Four players were called in from the reserves and this had the knockon effect of prompting the reserves to call up a number of players from the under 19s.
The game was evenly poised until 30 minutes in, when Tony Hackworth put the home side in front with a penalty.
The Pickering advantage was doubled on 48 minutes with a goal from Robert Hawkes.
Just over ten minutes later, the Lions were awarded a penalty but the spot kick was missed by Kieran Debrouwer and the third and final goal of the game came on 65 minutes when Lewis Taylor slotted home to secure the points for Pickering.