St Neots 1sts’ survival hopes in the East Men’s League suffered another setback as they slumped to defeat in a Spalding storm last Saturday.
The local side were beaten 3-1 by the Lincolnshire club's second team in a Division Three North-West clash played in difficult conditions.
Bradley Forsdick rattled a post early on as Saints came close to a breakthrough, but the majority of the first half was dominated by the hosts.
Saints were reliant on a series of smart saves from Ben Seaber to keep the scoreline blank at the break.
They opted to change goalkeeper at half-time to give young prospect Ben Knights some experience of senior hockey and he was powerless to prevent Spalding 2nds from taking command with a quick brace.
Knights then produced some fine stops of his own to prevent further damage while Seaber went from goal-saver to goalscorer when finding the net to halve the deficit after being sent on as a striker.
But Saints, who have won just one of their last 10 games, were unable to claw themselves level before a third goal from the hosts in the closing stages secured them the points.
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Saints are still not mathematically safe from the drop with five games to go this season - the first of which is at home to promotion-chasing City of Peterborough 4ths this Saturday.
St Neots 3rds climbed up to fifth place in Division Six North-West (South) last Saturday by dishing out a 6-0 derby drubbing to St Ives 5ths.
The club's fourth team remain bottom of that section but did collect their third point of the season in a 2-2 draw at Kettering 5ths.
Eleanor Pybus continued her stunning run of goalscoring for St Neots Ladies 1sts in the East Women's League last Saturday.
Pybus struck for the eighth time in six games as her side shared the spoils with Bury St Edmunds 1sts in Division One North as their mid-table clash ended 1-1.
The Saints side have an excellent opportunity to clinch their safety - with three games to spare - when travelling to basement side Colchester 1sts this Saturday.
St Neots 3rds were beaten 2-0 by Shefford & Sandy 2nds in Division Four North-West (South) last weekend.