Boston Hockey Club missed out on their opportunity to finish the year on top of the Eastern League Division 6NW.
The second-placed side were due to travel to league leaders Horncastle on Saturday, knowing that victory would be enough for them to leapfrog their opponents in the standings.
However, Boston were forced to kiss their hopes of going top goodbye due a player shortage.
That meant that they were forced to concede the contest, allowing Horncastle to stretch their lead at the top.
Horncastle remain the only team to have beaten Boston to date in league action this season.
They beat Boston 1-0 on the opening day of the season.
Since then, Boston had gone from strength to strength, winning seven and drawing one of their matches in the league.
As well as keeping clean sheets in their previous three contests, Boston have been doing the business at the other end.
They have scored 34 times, with Richard Wightman their leading scorer on nine goals.
Jamie Birks is one behind him in the standings.
Boston now have their Christmas break to re-group.
They will now host Bourne Deeping Fifths on January 11.