WORCESTER City missed the chance to move further ahead of Gainsborough Trinity and ease any lingering relegation fears as two second-half goals in two minutes saw Trinity come from behind to take all three points at The Northolme.
Daniel Nti opened the scoring for Carl Heeley’s men before a sluggish start to the second period was compounded as first Bradley Barraclough and then Callum Howe struck.
City’s promising form since the turn of the year meant confidence was high for the trip to Lincolnshire, despite Tuesday’s narrow defeat against Telford.
With defender Jamie Grimes recalled from his loan spell by Kidderminster Harriers, a wrist injury picked up by Richard Munday proved untimely, forcing manager Carl Heeley to shuffle his pack, bringing in Aaron Williams and moving Ellis Deeney to centre-half.
There were no signs of any confusion though as Worcester instantly took the game to the hosts in an impressive first period.
They could, and probably should, have been ahead within five minutes. Intricate approach play involving Aaron Brown released Kristian Ramey-Dickson whose goal-bound effort looked set for the bottom corner before Nti’s unintended intervention.
City were showing the kind of form that had merited five wins from seven and both Brown and Steven Leslie fired long-range strikes over.
On 30 minutes, Ebby Nelson-Addy looked to release Ramey-Dickson only for Aaron Williams to take over, his deflected effort dribbling agonisingly wide of the Trinity goal.
But from Leslie’s resulting corner, Nti glanced a header into the far corner for his fifth goal in eight games.
The home side were restricted to efforts from outside of the area, the best falling to Simon Russell who shot straight at keeper Jose Veiga before Brown got across to block.
At the other end, George Williams was inches from doubling the lead with a curling effort from 25 yards.
City continued to create the better chances at the start of the second-half with Ramey-Dickson cutting inside his marker and forcing an acrobatic stop from Phil Barnes in the home goal.
Seven minutes in though and Trinity drew level. Veteran Darryn Stamp flicked on a long ball to top scorer Barraclough who held off a challenge, turned and found the far corner from outside the area.
The substantial wind was now in the hosts’ sails and while City were still reeling, Gainsborough forced a corner and from the flag kick, the unmarked Howe planted a powerful header beyond Veiga.
Heeley’s men reacted instantly as Leslie dragged an effort wide and Ramey-Dickson should have done better in the six-yard box.
However, as the half wore on Gainsborough were unfortunate not to extend their lead as Barraclough prodded just wide before Veiga’s fine stop denied Jamie Wootton.
Worcester were left frustrated – as late yellows to Deeney and Nelson-Addy proved – and two sloppy minutes was enough to brand an excellent first-half worthless.