Gainsborough fell to a 2-1 defeat at Hednesford as Lynton Karkach was briefly the hero on a freezing cold day in Staffordshire.
The teenage Karkach had equalised with his first goal for the Blues but Trinity were only level for six minutes.
Goals in each half from Hednesford defied Trinity any points on a day when they were left bereft by further injuries to an already depleted squad.
Trinity were forced into a change before they even left for Hednesford as manager Steve Housham was left bed ridden by flu. On the pitch the fortunes remained the same as a threadbare squad arrived in Staffordshire.
Attacking injuries left Darryn Stamp, manager for the day, as one of two recognised centre forwards in the squad.
He returned to partner Curtis Bateson up front as injuries to Paul Beesley and Danny Forrest left Chris Salt as the only senior player on the bench.
Josh Lacey made a return to the starting line up as Liam Davis’ suspension enabled Tom Davie to play in a more advanced role on the left side.
The Blues were visibly unsettled by the changes to the side and this enabled Hednesford to have the early running at Keys Park.
The misfortune with injuries continued within 15 minutes as assistant manager Stamp was clattered into by Pitmen keeper Dan Crane, leaving him sprawled on the floor.
Stamp groggily rose to his feet but within ten minutes Lynton Karkach came on to replace him.
Within this period Hednesford were able to capitalise on uncertainty within the ranks.
From a corner into the box Paul McCone rose highest in the box to flick the ball over the line.
The goal was unfortunate but the Blues dug in and were almost level straight away through youngster Karkach.
Karkach managed to get onto a loose ball and squeeze a shot in, which had to be scrambled off the line by a defender.
The home side had a couple of decent openings before half time but they were luckily wasteful in their execution.
The break was needed for Trinity as they were under severe pressure before the whistle.
Confidence was gained by keeping the score at only one nil and Curtis Bateson quickly forced Crane into action with a long range effort.
The Pitmen recovered from the threat the Blues were producing within minutes, as top scorer Danny Glover clipped the bar with a free kick.
The game meandered on with little creative spark and plenty of aggression from the home side as the yellow cards began to tot up for the Pitmen.
There had always been plenty of bite to the game and the number of bookings had an effect on the commitment being shown by Hednesford, certainly so when Karkach marked his appearance with a goal that defied his years.
It came from a Ciaran Toner free kick and as the ball got into the box, nobody got hold of the ball and Karkach nipped in to dispatch a great finish.
The youngster was undoubtedly delighted as he grabbed a first goal for his hometown club.
The delight did not last for long as Hednesford grabbed a controversial winner through Glover within six minutes.
A floating cross seemed comfortable for Jan Budtz to come and collect but the ball went through his grasp as the Dane appeared to be pushed.
Hednesford played on, hitting the post before Glover slotted home.
Budtz was furious, running half the pitch to remonstrate with the referee and he sharply grabbed his yellow card for the ninth time in the fixture.
Trinity could not respond despite their impressive performance, they did have time though for Charlie Binns to force a save from Crane.
Speaking after the game, captain Dominic Roma was pleased with the performance despite the result.
He said: “What’s evident this season is the lads never give up and we did create a few chances with their keeper pulling off a fantastic save in the last minute.
“I thought we would get back into the game but I am pleased we did not fold and carried on trying to create chances.”
“We are down to the bare bones, Stampy came on and we were doing well.”
“We tried to hit the channels a little bit more and use Curtis and Lynny’s pace and it worked well in the second half.”
Roma believed the injury to Stamp did have an impact and praised his replacement.
“The injury affected us for about 5 or 10 minutes but we recovered well in the second half.”
“I think he (Stamp) will be fine for the Ferriby game as he always takes little bumps and bruises.”
“Lynny (Karkach) has come in and he’s played well.
“To be fair to him, he’s a bit of a defender’s nightmare, small and nippy.”
“Not a lot of centre halves at this level will want to play against him.”
“It’s a case of Lynny getting games and learning when he is sat on the bench to try and pick up a few things.”
It is likely that Karkach will be in line for selection for the tie with North Ferriby on Boxing Day as the Blues hope to spread some Christmas cheer.
Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma, Lacey, Binns, Quinn (Salt 61), Picton, Roberts, Toner, Bateson, Stamp (Karkach 27), Davie. Subs (not used): Martin, Plumtree, Wisdom-Lockwood
Hednesford: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, McCone, Thorley (Robinson 75), Osborne, Walker, Glover, Diggin (Westwood 79), Batchelor (Thomas 63). Subs (not used): Melbourne, Sullivan.
Gainsborough Goalscorer: Karkach (70).
Hednesford Goalscorers: McCone (21), Glover (76).
Gainsborough Bookings: Binns, Salt, Budtz.
Hednesford Bookings: Bailey, Glover, Diggin, Thomas, Osborne, Walker.