Gainsborough Trinity’s unbeaten run came to a disappointing halt at the hands of bitter Lincs rivals Boston United on Saturday, with a 2-1 defeat.
Steve Housham felt his men weren’t at the races in a first half that saw Boston take the lead, before the Blues hit back.
He said: “It’s a shame it happened here, we move on, but I thought the tempo from ourselves in the first half was poor.”
Ian Ross put the Pilgrims ahead after a quarter of an hour, and although Shane Clarke gave Trinity hope with his 40th minute header against his former club, Marc Newsham fired home a penalty to keep the three points in Boston.
Gainsborough boss Steve Housham was forced into changes, with Danny Hone suspended for the derby, Greg Young chosen as the replacement.
Goalkeeper Jan Budtz returned to the line-up, but there was little he could do about the opener as Boston’s first chance resulted in a 1-0 lead.
Mark Jones was brought down just outside the Trinity box by Luke Waterfal and Ross made no mistake, curling a perfect free-kick over the wall and past Budtz.
The Blues’ first chance fell to the in-form Craig Nelthorpe, but his 20-yard strike flew wide of Dan Haystead’s goal.
With Trinity chasing the game and throwing men forward, they were nearly caught on the break, Mark Jones forcing his way past Young but denied by Budtz.
Gainsborough kept fighting and just before half-time they equalised, Jamie Yates swinging in a cross to Shane Clarke who headed into the top corner.
Clarke was then substituted at the break, his replacement Terry Hawkridge straight into the action shooting from long range just over the bar. Budtz produced another good save to keep out Nathan Stainfield’s towering header from a Ross corner, while Ross himself fired a free-kick off target.
Midway through the second half, Luke Waterfall felled Jones inside the penalty area and Newsham drove the resulting spot-kick past Budtz for 2-1.
Towards the end Trinity threw everything at Boston.
Substitute Darryn Stamp’s header flew wide from Hawkridge’s corner, Hawkridge lashed a shot wide from the edge of the area and then the youngster was denied again, his shot hacked off the line by United defender Tom Ward.
Boston scrambled clear a succession of late corners, including one with Budtz challenging in attack, giving Trinity their first league loss at York Street since 1st January 1998.
Boston United: Haystead, Silk, Jelleyman, Milnes, Ward, Stainfield, Marshall (Dyer-Stewart 63), Ross, Jones, Newsham, Stokes. Not used: Craven, Reed, Sanders, Drury.
Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma, Wilde, Waterfall, Young, Clarke (Hawkridge HT), D’Laryea, Nelthorpe, Knowles, Connor (Stamp 65), Yates (Barraclough 72). Not used: Williams, Karkach.
Star Man: Wilde.