Scarborough Athletic lost further ground on the league leaders as they slumped to a 4-2 defeat at Clitheroe on Tuesday night.
After making a bright start and taking an early lead through Tom Corner, Boro were pulled apart in the second half as the home side cantered to the three points.
Boro named an unchanged side to the one that claimed a battling point against Glossop North End last week, with the bench boosted by the late addition of youngsters Ben Hirst and Isaac Assenso on loan from York City and Scunthorpe United.
The goal drought of recent games may have concerned Boro fans prior to the game, however it was fixed in just the eighth minute when the ball feel nicely for Joe Fox to crack a shot against the crossbar, with Corner on hand to nod in from a yard out.
With Boro on top and keen to add to Corner’s goal, they were dealt a cruel double blow as Paul Robson and Joe Fox both limped off with injuries, forcing Hughes and Foot to bring on debutant Assenso and Dominic Rowe.
Sensing an opportunity, the hosts hit back quickly to equalise when Jonathan Hession took advantage of a slip from Boro skipper Nathan Peat to ghost in and finish in confident fashion across Athletic keeper Rob Zand.
Boro were nearly back in front when substitute Assenso showed good control to chest down a cross on the edge of the area, however the volley that followed just crept wide.
A stinging drive from Callum Hendry rattled the crossbar from distance before Hession had an opportunity to give his side the lead on the stroke of half-time after a mistake from Joe Lamplough, with Rob Zand saving low down to keep the scores level.
After the quick start by Boro at the start of the game, it was Clitheroe who took the initiative after the break. This approach paid off on 54 minutes following a flowing move from left to right, finishing with James Heywood having enough space to rifle into the bottom corner for the hosts.
Boro were still creating opportunities though as Kieran McCaffrey tried his luck from long range, quickly followed by Alex Metcalfe seeing his low angled shot turned behind by Guthrie.
Sub Ben Hirst replaced McCaffrey and nearly equalised with his first touch, the 17-year-old denied by the legs of Guthrie following a deft flick from six yards.
As Boro pushed forward in search of an equaliser, there was more space for the Clitheroe forwards to exploit the gaps left behind as they extended their advantage going into the final quarter.
A long ball forward caused confusion in the Boro defence, with pressure from Louis Mayers forcing goalkeeper Zand to mis-time his clearing header. In the melee that followed Peat bundled over the striker as he was set to pull the trigger to concede the spot kick. Scott Bakkor stepped up and made no mistake to deepen Boro’s woes.
Clitheroe showed a killer instinct as a fourth goal quickly followed in the closing stages through a neat turn and finish from captain David Lynch to leave Atheltic down and out.
A late consolation in added time from Gary Bradshaw with an effortless free-kick that curled in off the underside of bar was the final action as Boro slipped to a fourth defeat in six games.