Goals either side of half time succumbed Lincoln United to their first defeat in six matches as they were beaten 2-0 at home to Romulus.
The Whites dominated possession and had much the better chances, but failed to make any of their openings count.
And they were punished, in true smash and grab style, by a Romulus side who knew a win at the Sun Hat Villas Stadium would move them just one point behind their opponents.
It was United who shaded the opening 15 minutes, although they found guilt edged chances hard to come by.
The best of their opportunities fell to left back Kallum Smith who smashed the ball way over the bar from 25 yards.
Romulus were buoyed by their early rearguard efforts and took the lead on 18 minutes. A long ball over the United defence was flicked on by Jordan Francis whose header bounced off the crossbar and crept over the line.
Dave Frecklington’s men did not let the setback halt their offensive charge though. Immediately after the goal, Jack McGovern forced Romulus keeper Stuart Parsons into a smart save.
The away side then created an opening with Luke Keen firing over from long range before United conjured up their best chance to equalise.
Matthew Cotton’s delicate through ball laid in McGovern whose cross from the left hand side was somehow put over by Ben Fairclough from point blank range.
Moments later, Romulus’s Liam Holt headed the ball onto his own crossbar before Fairclough and McGovern both wasted fantastic opportunities towards the end of the first half.
The Whites were left scratching their heads as to why they weren’t at least level as they continued their relentless pressure into the second half.
McGovern was involved again, first volleying a Daniel Brooks free kick over and then diverting a Jordan Lemon cross onto the post.
Manager Frecklington was running out of patience with his misfiring players and made a few changes, but to no avail.
With 20 minutes left, substitute Andy Wright’s mazy run and shot was palmed away by Parsons and United were punished shortly after.
Mitchell McDonald flicked the ball onto Luke Keen who created himself some space and dispatched the ball low into the bottom corner to give Romulus a two goal cushion.
United failed to threaten in the last ten minutes, and the final whistle was sounded, with players and staff wondering how they’d not come away from the match with at least a point.
Full-time: Lincoln United 0-2 RomulusTweet