They suffered a fifth successive defeat when going down 41-5 to table-topping Syston at The Racecourse last Saturday. Possession for Stags, but points for Syston became the theme of a game in which the hosts gave an encouraging account of themselves. They restricted the leaders to two tries in the first half when a 12-0 scoreline reflected both Stags inability to seriously threaten and the visitors ruthlessness. It was a position which meant the next try would be particularly crucial in determining the outcome. It was perhaps no surprise that went to Syston following a quick break. Alex Anthony capped a man-of-the-match display by replying with Stags solitary score after scampering through the Syston defence to touch down, but the leaders responded with four further tries two of them gained after Stags had Russ Polson yellow-carded. Things are not about to get any easier for Stags in the new year. Their first outing of 2018 is a January 6 trip to second-placed Bedford Athletic.