Royal Wootton Bassett Town's six game winning streak was brought to an emphatic end with a 4-0 defeat away against Worcester City.
Played in front of a bumper crowd of 825, City gave Sam Collier's third place side a demonstration of why they are clear title favourites - and how much further ahead they are of the rest of the pack.
To give credit to Bassett, the visitors held their own during the opening quarter of the match. However, that was the only spell in the game where they came close to matching their hosts. Bassett fell behind in that period too, conceding a ninth minute opener as Liam Lockett cut inside before firing low past Rob Brown.
It was then 2-0 midway through the half when a rebound fell in the box for Lockett, who created space to shoot and made no mistake.
While Bailey Gallagher soon forced an acrobatic save from Worcester 'keeper Haydn Whitcombe, the hosts were now in control. And Lockett came close to a first half hat trick when he saw a shot cleared off the line after set up play from Dylan Hart.
The second half was then a one-sided affair - and the home side extended their lead to 3-0 before the hour mark when Kyle Belmonte's fizzing shot from the edge of the area just had the beating of Brown.
The Bassett 'keeper did well to deny Hart from a tight angle shortly after. Lockett then had a pair of chances to complete his hat trick but twice was unable to locate the target, first heading wide before shooting wide from beyond the area.
His team's fourth eventually arrived though - and it came in some style as Belmonte beat Brown with an audacious strike from near halfway.
The visitors got through to the end with no further salt being rubbed into their wounds, though Collier and his team were well beaten.
There is certainly no harm in falling to defeat against Worcester - so far this season just two teams, Tuffley Rovers and Westfields, have avoided that fate in the league. And with a handful key players missing and two debutants - Luke Softley and Dan McBeam - in the mix, it was never going to be the easiest of days.
Now's the time to bounce back and quickly start another winning streak.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Saturday 18th November 2023 at 21:02