Crucial lapses in concentration meant a large crowd failed to see the best of Ripley Town, who suffered a second successive home defeat in the Midlands Regional Alliance’s First Division.
Taking on fellow mid-tablers Shirebrook Town, Ripley led from the second minute thanks to striker Lewis Parkin’s fourth goal of the season, tucked away from close range.
But they let the game slip in a slipshod ten-minute period early in the second half when they gifted killer goals to Shirebrook, who cashed in to return home with a 2-1 victory.
First, the Ripley defence allowed visiting centre-forward Mark Turek a clean run on goal to level the scores. And five minutes later, the home side failed to clear a corner and the ball was turned home inside the six-yard box, again by Turek.
Ripley upped their game as they searched for an equaliser, and they had a penalty appeal turned down. Kieran Murphy also thumped the bar with a header, while Jimmy Hassall and Matt Ball both had shots blocked. But for all their efforts, the damage had been done and Ripley were left to troop off very disappointed.
In truth, Shirebrook deserved their points thanks to a solid performance and taking their chances when they came along. However, in what was a tight, physical encounter, they were lucky to escape without a red card in the opening half when their left-back lunged in with a two-footed challenge on Curt Fallows.
Ripley now hope to bounce back this Saturday when they travel to play high-riding Matlock United, who have won three of their first four games.