The Devils’ fight for National League south division one survival suffered a double blow at the weekend.
The Solent & Gosport side were beaten 10-3 by Invicta Dynamos on Saturday before a 7-5 reverse at the hands of Streatham Redskins followed 24 hours later.
While they were not outclassed in either game, the Devils remain five points adrift at the foot of the table – and odds on for a return to division two.
The south coast club dominated in the second tier last term – remaining unbeaten as they claimed the crown and a long overdue promotion to the top flight.
But their first taste of south division one has been a painful one.
On Saturday, they made the worst possible start as Invicta scored after just 45 seconds.
The Devils refused to fold, though, and hit back through George Norcliffe, who also cancelled out the second Dynamos goal.
But five strikes without reply from the visitors put paid to any hopes the Forest Way outfit had of scrambling a result on their home ice.
Greg Wyatt then reduced the deficit to 7-3, only for Invicta to push on and score three more times before the hooter.
Bloodied but unbowed, the Devils went on to give the Redskins a real scare on Sunday.
Three powerplay goals saw them fight back to level the scores at 5-5 going into the dying moments of the clash.
But the Redskins edged in front once more and then sealed victory in the last minute.
Hopes had been high among Devils fans earlier in the contest, though.
They had taken the lead in the seventh minute through Kent Johnson.
After slipping 3-1 behind a Gyorgy Kovacs goal and a rare Jamie Fitzpatrick strike levelled the game.
Two further Redksins efforts were matched by Richard Nembhard and Mitchell Murray to set up an exciting finale.
But sadly, the Devils were on the wrong end of the grandstand finish.
They now have 10 games remaining to spark a miraculous escape bid.