Gosport Borough were disappointed to come away from Hitchin Town empty-handed.
Alex Pike’s relegation battlers lost the Southern League premier division encounter 2-1.
A goal 10 minutes before the end condemned Borough to their 27th league defeat of the campaign.
Hitchin led after only eight minutes but Borough hit back through a Craig McAllister equaliser six minutes later.
The visitors had chances to take the lead in the second half.
And even after falling begind again, they were unlucky not to score a second and snatch a priceless point.
Pike felt his side’s performance offered further encouragement – despite it ending in another defeat.
‘We were in the game – against a team in the top half of the table – for the whole 90 minutes,’ said the Borough boss.
‘Once again our plans were badly hit by illness and injury.
‘We lost defender Rob Flooks in midweek to suspected pneumonia.
‘And then Harvey Read was forced to pull out on the morning of the game with a virus.
‘When you are down there nothing goes for you.
‘Hitchin’s second goal hit the base of the post, rolled along the goalline and went in.
‘Minutes later at the other end we have a shot bounce down off the crossbar and the ball gets cleared.
‘There were lots of positives to take from the game, though.
‘What we do have to do is stop conceding goals.
‘All the time we are letting in two or more goals it puts us under pressure.
‘We need to start keeping clean sheets.’
Hitchin took the lead through Robbie Burns as Borough appealed in vain for offside.
McAllister levelled soon afterwards – converting a Pat Suraci cross at the far post.
The home side grabbed their winner when Lucas Kirkpatrick cut in from the left and unleashed a low angled shot which bounced in off the far post.
Borough were denied in the closing stages when a shot from Joel Jackson bounced down off the underside of the crossbar.
Hitchin cleared off their own goalline before the visitors could capitalise.
Borough remain at the foot of the table – trailing Dunstable by three points but with three games in hand.
Pike’s team continue their search for vital points with a long midweek trek to Redditch United tomorrow night (7.45pm).