Chorley returned empty-handed from their trip to Hednesford Town as they suffered a 2-1 defeat.
It was their first league game since Boxing Day, and the narrow defeat costing them their place in the Conference North top five.
Apart from an early flurry of goals which decided the contest, the proceedings were short on incident and excitement.
Though the Magpies applied plenty of second half pressure, there was no end-product and they failed to work home goalkeeper Dan Crane whose early error had gifted Chorley the lead.
It was a through ball on seven minutes which Crane came out to clear but he completely missed his kick and Chris Simm was left to score at leisure into an empty net.
But Chorley fatally switched off at the restart.
Hednesford attacked down the right flank and James Hurst’s cross was stabbed into the net by Marvin Robinson.
Five minutes later the hosts were in front. Tom Smyth failed to cut out a ball through the middle and Robinson, left in acres of space, accepted the chance to slip a shot beyond Sam Ashton.
Simm fluffed a glorious chance to equalise midway through the half when, one-on-one with Crane, he could only shoot wide.
Five minutes before the break the Magpies lost Smyth, stretchered off after injuring himself as he attempted a tackle.
Chorley enjoyed a good spell in the ascendancy during the second half without really looking like scoring.
Indeed the best effort of the half came from Hednesford who almost sealed victory in the 77th minute when Robinson was denied a hat-trick as his header came back off a post.
Garry Flitcroft blamed his side’s defeat on costly individual errors in the first half.
He said: “We had started well and got on top but you can’t give away soft goals like those.
“Individuals have got to defend better than that. We put a lot of pressure on Hednesford in the second half but the goal just wouldn’t come.
“It’s obviously disappointing but we’ve two home games coming up in the next week and if we can win those we’ll be right back in it.”
CHORLEY : Ashton, Ross, Mather, Teague, Smyth (Winter, 42), Roscoe, Dorney, Whitham, Dean, Simm (Hine,45), Cottrell (Almond,80). Unused subs. Lynch, Mulholland.
Attendance : 540.
After the euphoria of the FA Cup, Southport came back down to earth on Saturday eking out a goalless draw against Chester in the Conference Premier.
It was a scrappy game in freezing conditions and neither side was able to create a worthwhile chance.
Chester’s Kingsley James was sent off for punching Richard Brodie and Southport’s talisman himself followed him down the tunnel after receiving a second yellow card in the space of three minutes.
With Luke Foster receiving his 10th yellow, it means that the Sandgrounders will be without both their captain and leading goalscorer for their rearranged Tuesday night game against Braintree Town.
“It was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination,” said manager Gary Brabin.
“But we did keep a clean sheet in poor conditions and we have got another point on board against full time opponents so there are some pluses.”
Other results:NPL First Division North – Burscough 0, Spennymoor Town 1; Lancaster 1, Ossett Albion 0; New Mills 3, Clitheroe 3; Ossett Town P-P Bamber Bridge; Harrogate P-P Kendal.