HARROGATE Town suffered their second defeat in three days with Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Vauxhall Motors in Skrill North.
The defeat came despite constant Town pressure which the stern hosts withheld to leave the visitors ninth in the table.
Motors had an early penalty appeal waved away as Matty Kosylo went down under Shane Killock’s challenge.
But Town’s Brad Abbott and Cleveland Taylor then went close while Killock had a near post header clip the outside of the post and eventually scrambled away.
Vauxhall’s Danny Fearnebrough then broke down the right but the unmarked Stephen Tames headed his cross well wide.
Craig MacGillivray also made an excellent save to concede a corner as Fearnebrough tried his luck from the edge of the area.
But Town took complete control as half-time approached as Adam Bolder shot wide and Chris Hall headed Adam Nowakowski’s teasing cross just over.
However, against the run of play, Vauxhall took the lead on 51 minutes when Karl Clair broke through the middle and slipped the ball calmly past MacGillivray.
Town hit back and Zac Jones saved Nelthorpe’s 20-yard drive at the front of the post, before good work from Mallory created a chance for Bolder but his shot was just inches too high.
Gaps began to appear in the Town defence as they pushed forward for an equaliser and MacGillivray had to save well from Tames and Kosylo.
But in stoppage time, Mallory’s dangerous cross caused Stephen Wainwright to clear the ball over his own bar for a corner. The last action of the match saw Hall divert a Dave Merris cross wide.
Town return to action on New Year’s Day at Guiseley whose hosting of Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday was postponed.
Bradford Park Avenue also endured a frustrating afternoon as they slipped to 12th after a 2-1 loss at North Ferriby United.
Avenue took the lead as James Knowles nodded home from a free-kick but second-half goals from Danny Hone and Anthony Wilson sealed victory for the Villagers. Avenue next host Stockport County on New Year’s Day.
In Skrill Premier on Saturday, FC Halifax Town crushed Lincoln City 5-1 at The Shay. Dan Gardner slotted in from the penalty spot after Imps skipper Alan Power was sent off for a foul on Matty Pearson.
Ben Tomlinson equalised for the visitors from a tight angle but Gardner played Lee Gregory in to put the hosts back in front. Adam Smith then scored a fine individual goal to make it 3-1 with Jon Worthington crashing home from range and Reece Gray curling in to bring up the home nap hand.
The victory put Halifax up to sixth and just one point off the play-offs.
Halifax welcome Gateshead to The Shay on New Year’s Day.