Two goals either side of half time and a sublime goal from former Barnet striker Lee Roache, condemned Daventry Town to a 3-0 defeat in the top of the table clash with Dunstable Town on Tuesday night.
And Daventry Manager Darran Foster admitted his side had been beaten by a better team,
“Our form against the top sides has been disappointing,” said a frustrated Foster. “Our only saving grace is everyone else is dropping points.
“What was most disappointing was the way we let Dunstable dictate the game, and defensively we looked terrified of their pace.
“When you defend inside your own box, a team as good as Dunstable will tear you apart, which they did.
“We must be stronger mentally, especially when we are playing at home, we must believe in how good we can be and transfer it into our match performances.
“Four games in seven days will be a real test of character, and it is now time for the whole squad to stand up and be counted and not throw away all our hard work.
“We are only concentrating on the next game at Marlow.
“It is a cliché, but we will take each game one at a time and we must get back to winning games very quickly.”
Dunstable had gone in front just before the break, Nathan Frater the architect and scorer of the first goal, in a fairly evenly matched contest between two teams competing for the league title.
Frater threaded a fine pass through to prolific striker Lee Roache, whose shot was superbly saved by keeper Richard Morris, but Morris was unable to prevent the ball bouncing back out to Frater, who scored.
Dunstable had started the match stronger, Frater thumping a fierce shot across goal, Wilkinson hitting the ball away for a throw in and Leon Cashman hitting a shot high and wide of the goal.
Daventry created early chances too, an excellent run to the by-line by Will Green, saw the Daventry striker pass the ball back to his strike partner Scott Cross, whose turn and shot was blocked.
Dunstable thought they had taken the lead after 20 minutes. Morris made a fine save from Cashman and the rebound fell to Roache, who scrambled the ball over the line, only to have his effort ruled out for offside.
Roache then provided a cross for winger Adam Watkins, only for his delicate header to miss the inside of the post by inches.
Marcel Simpson gave away a free kick on the edge of the area, bringing down Roache, but Frater’s free kick was blocked by the wall, although minutes before Frater gave Dunstable a half time lead.
Simpson was at fault for their second goal too, which came within minutes of the restart.
Simpson failed to get a foot on an attempted clearance, allowing the ball to run across goal to Frater, who took full advantage of the slip up, to hammer his shot wide to the left of a sprawling Richard Morris.
For the first time in the game, despite being two goals ahead, Dunstable began to play very deep allowing Daventry to come forward and create chances.
Ryan Howell going close with a strong header past the post and a Tom James free kick, which was hit straight into keeper Jamie Head’s safe hands.
The game was effectively over once Roache had scored The Duns’ third goal, and what a magnificent effort it was.
Collecting the ball outside the area Roache calmly chipped Morris from distance, placing the ball perfectly between keeper and crossbar to score an exquisite goal which was applauded by both sets of supporters.
Despite tumbling to their second home defeat of the season, Daventry still have the league title in their sights.
Other results went in Daventry’s favour.
Kettering Town lost their twenty match unbeaten run at Barton Rovers 3-1, and Rugby Town dropped two points at Aylesbury in a dour goalless draw. Slough Town consolidated their position in the top six by thrashing North Greenford by 7-1.
This Saturday, Daventry travel to the picturesque location of Marlow, before playing three games in five days.
They take on Uxbridge next Tuesday (April 1), Egham on Thursday (Arpil 3) and St Ives at Communications Park (April 5).
Daventry Town 0 Dunstable Town 3
Saturday, March 25
Calor League Central Division One
Location: Communications Park
Daventry: Richard Morris, Ollie Wilkinson, Tom James, Marcel Simpson, Liam Dolman, Adam Confue (Mykel Beckley 59mins), Ross Oulton, Will Green, Ryan Howell, Scott Cross (Luke Keen 70mins), James Husband (Josh O’Grady 56mins)
Scorers: Dunstable Town: Nathan Frater44/47mins, Lee Roache 55mins
MOM: Ryan Howell
In the book: Yellow - Ryan Howell 88mins, Adam Confue 55mins, Ross Oulton 75mins