Heanor Town suffered a 1-0 defeat at Midlands Football League leaders Alvechurch on Easter Saturday.
Heanor travelled looking to avenge a four-goal drubbing dished out by Alvechurch in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
But a mixture of illness and injury saw Heanor without Karl Demidh, Joe Naylor and Cory Bowler. And worse was to follow when Arash Abdollahi and Jordan Simpson then pulled out of the warm up.
Gerry Moran and Simeon Osheboke moved from the bench to the starting line up.
The players who appeared put up stubborn resistance against the table toppers in an evenly contested first 15 minutes.
Alvechurch flooded players into the penalty area and on one occasion Greg Marriott clipped the heels of a forward and a penalty was given.
Up stepped ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers and Lye Town forward, James Spray, who ambled up to the ball and aimed for the bottom right corner, only for Joe McCormack to be equal to the effort and palm the ball to safety.
Heanor had two efforts on target in the first half; a rasping strike from Benger that goalkeeper Matt Sargeant claimed with ease, then Kieran Debrouwer strike a minute before the break glanced off the head of defender Luke Paskin giving Sargeant the task of tipping the ball round the post.
Alvechurch knocked at the Heanor door over and over, shots coming in from hot shot Jordan Nadat, Josh March and James Spray were dealt with by McCormack and the determined team ahead of him.
The defining moment came after 71 minutes, a long ball controlled beautifully by Nadat with an excellent touch gave Ashleigh Lynch no other option than to stretch a leg out. Over went Nadat and off went Lynch, no arguments given by the Heanor players or management.
Up stepped Spray who chose power over precision, the ball crashing back in to play off the inside of the upright. The goal came five minutes from time. Sam Williams found space to tap home Spray’s centre.
In a game where the Heanor squad stood tall it was visible that the goal knocked the stuffing out of them. A horrible end for the likes of Moran, Bettney and Harris who had marshalled the midfield.
HEANOR TOWN: McCormack, Marriott, Seale, Moran, Hall (c), Lynch, Harris, Bettney, Benger, Osheboke (Brown 71), Debrouwer. Subs not used: Abdollahi, Simpson, Brown, Hudson. Star Lion: Nick Hall. Referee: Benjamin Morris. Attendance: 165.