The ChromaSport United Counties League title race was thrown wide open after Daventry Town lost by a solitary goal at Raunds Town.
The 1-0 defeat saw Town remain second in division one ahead of Friday’s clash with Corby S&L at Communications Park.
Damon Herbert made his debut at centre half for Town and new goalkeeper Ant O’Connor also made his debut in Saturday’s defeat.
O’Connor was called into action early on, blocking twice in quick succession from Dave Townsend and pulling off a good save to deny Dan Porter. Town’s first chance saw Adam Creaney shooting over from Alfie Taylor’s cut back.
Captain Aaron King volleyed over but O’Connor was again called into action to thwart the dangerous Townsend.
The game continued to be an end-to-end affair with Josh Davis hitting the top of the bar with a free-kick for Raunds and Scott Cross shooting straight at Craig Jones after a good turn.
King twice came closest to breaking the deadlock for the visitors, his free-kick went just wide and Jones saved his shot after good footwork saw him get through on goal. Raunds also had a chance before the half was out, Mason Thomas volleying Townsend’s cross over the bar.
The second half was just seconds old when Raunds took the lead. Townsend, who had been a constant threat to the Town defence, capitalised on a slip and chipped O’Connor.
The game continued to be open, Taylor headed over King’s corner, Dean Lukeman’s goalbound shot was cleared off the line with Jones beaten before the keeper pulled off a great save to tip Creaney’s header over the bar.
Town continued to press but were unable to make the all important breakthrough. King saw his free-kick from the edge of the box blocked and Cross shot just wide.
Townsend again went close before the end and, as much as Town pressed, they were unable to breakthrough and Raunds held out for the win.