Northwich Victoria showed the gap between Scarborough Athletic and the teams at the top on Saturday as they strode to a 3-0 win at Queensgate.
Boro may have matched the league leaders for long periods, but the organisation, pace and predatory instincts of Northwich drove a significant wedge between the two sides.
In what looks certain to be Matty Bloor and Chris Bolder's final game in caretaker charge, Boro still continued to take steps towards a positive result, though they were once again left counting the costs of poor decisions and mistakes.
There was some good news ahead of kick off as Bloor and Bolder managed to tempt Dean Lisles back out of the injury wilderness and he started in the centre of the defence alongside Nathan Peat.
The back four that also included Paul Robson and Caine Winfarrah, dug in throughout a battling first-half, which saw bodies put on the line to keep Northwich at bay.
The leaders did take advantage of one slip though, as Richard Bennett robbed Peat on the left and delivered for Iain Howard, whose weak volley bounced wide.
Boro launched raids of their own though, Ryan Blott having a shot saved by keeper Mason Springthorpe with Tom Corner lurking.
Despite equalling Northwich for long periods, Boro still had to grit their teeth in the latter stages of the half, as the confidence-filled visitors pressed their case.
The resolve finally broke five minutes before the break, as Boro failed to clear their lines and Howard rolled into the bottom corner from close range.
Northwich's threat remained in the second half as keeper Paddy Weaver showed a good turn of pace to charge from his line and push the ball away from the dangerous Howard.
Boro were not out of it though, and with the home fans at their back, they began to push Northwich towards their own goal.
Things almost came to a crescendo when the ball found Corner in the area, but he failed to get a clean strike away and his effort was deflected wide.
Then, just seconds later, a moment of sloppiness saw Paul Robson give the ball away on the half-way line. Northwich didn't need a second invitation as they flooded forward in numbers and Stuart Cook smashed home.
Cook rubbed further salt into Boro's wounds seconds later. The sub taking advantage of a vanishing home defence to bend the ball past a stranded Weaver.
Boro may have been dead and buried by this point, but they dug deep and caused Northwich a few worrying moments.
The best chance fell to Boro sub Harry Holden in the final seconds, when he got something on a corner from the right, but the ball was hacked off the line.
A goal would have been a welcome boost, though that shot in the arm may arrive in the not too distant future, as the Boro board look set to make what is an eagerly-awaited managerial appointment.