After maintaining the longest perfect record in the Northern League, for matches won away from home, Shildon AFC have slumped to four consecutive away defeats in November which have seen them exit the FA Vase and League Cup and lose ground in the league title race.
Shildon travelled to Hall Lane on Wednesday to begin their League Cup campaign against Second Division Willington.
But what should have been a straightforward passage into the next round became a night of toil with a changed Shildon side in- capable of unlocking a solid Willington defence.
First choice strikers Adam Burnicle and Billy Greulich-Smith were introduced to the action late in the game but the goal, when it arrived, came at the other end of the pitch.
Willington took one of their rare opportunities to press forward as penalties loomed and won a corner.
When the resulting cross was headed across Nick Liversedge and into the Shildon goal by Conor Winter, it was plain the tie was over and the second division side were able to record a famous giant-killing.
A shellshocked Shildon travelled on to Consett on Saturday, but even the return of the highly- rated young centre back, Dominic Curle could not prevent a disastrous first half defensive display.
In an otherwise even game, Shildon conceded when midfielder, Marc Ellison turned the ball past his keeper in an attempt to prevent a cross from Dan Hawkins reaching the Consett attack.
Ten minutes later, defenders Dan Groves and Matty Robson gifted Consett their second when instead of clearing an innocuous ball, they ran into each other and as they lay prostrate, Michael Sweet had the simplest of tasks to double the home side’s lead.
It was already clear that the game was beyond Shildon’s rescue and it was Consett who finally put the matter beyond doubt when Sweet again slotted home after David Dowson’s initial shot had been parried by Liversedge.
If Shildon could take any positives from the game it was only that the top two also dropped points, Marske losing and leaders Morpeth drawing at North Shields.
With Shildon’s opportuni- ties for silverware now restricted to the Durham Challenge Cup and the league, Manager Daniel Moore has targeted 12 points from the next five games in order to get his side’s title challenge back on track.
The first of those games will take place at Dean Street on Saturday, when in-form Stockton Town are the visitors and will be quickly followed by a Monday night isit to Team Northumbria.