Notts County suffered their first defeat in five matches as they were beaten 3-1 by Yeovil Town at Huish Park.
On an afternoon packed with golden opportunities and near misses for the Magpies, they were agonisingly left to rue goals from Courtney Duffus, Luke Wilkinson and Miles Hippolyte.
Kristian Dennis' penalty in second-half injury time provided little consolation on a hugely frustrating afternoon.
Neal Ardley made three changes to the side that beat Chorley on bank holiday Monday.
Nathan Tyson and Mitch Rose were both absent from the squad, while Zoumana Bakayago had to settle for a spot on the bench.
Sam Graham returned to the heart of defence, Regan Booty came into central midfield and Wes Thomas started up front alongside Dennis as Ardley opted for a 4-4-2 formation.
Yeovil had a couple of half-chances in the early exchanges as Tom Bradbury’s header was blocked by Ben Turner moments before Duffus bent a shot narrowly wide of Sam Slocombe’s post.
Notts responded with their first shot on 11 minutes when Booty flashed an effort a yard or so off-target after taking a free-kick short with Enzio Boldewijn.
And the Magpies forced a golden opportunity for themselves shortly afterwards when Thomas was quick to prevent the hosts passing the ball out from the back from a goal kick, catching midfielder Charlie Lee off guard to win the ball on the corner of the six-yard box. The forward could only send the ball over the bar.
Lee almost made the Magpies pay at the other end when his acrobatic effort from Carl Dickinson’s free-kick resulted in the ball cannoning off the crossbar and away to safety.
It was proving to be an end-to-end period of the game as, minutes later, Boldewijn stung the palms of Marcin Brzozowski in the Glovers’ net. The ball came back out to Thomas on the edge of the area but he couldn’t connect properly with his shot.
The match then entered something of a lull, with both sides nullifying one another’s threat before Yeovil took the lead out of nowhere as half-time neared.
Notts failed to deal with Gold Omotayo’s flick-on in the area and Duffus was able to lift the ball over Slocombe to secure his side a narrow lead at the break.
The Magpies returned for the second half unchanged and soon launched an assault on the Yeovil goal.
Booty played a delightful dinked pass to find the run of O’Brien in the area. The Scot spotted Thomas’ emergence and tried to supply him with a first-time flick but a Yeovil defender had positioned himself perfectly to cut it out.
Chaos reigned at the resultant corner as Turner’s header struck the post, McCrory’s follow-up effort was blocked on the line and Booty’s goalbound shot was deflected behind for a corner.
And Turner was denied again moments later when a Yeovil defender cleared his header off the line before McCrory worked the ball to O’Brien on the edge of the box. He struck the ball sweetly but it was straight at Brzozowksi.
Notts kept up their pressure and, shortly after sending an effort wide after cutting in from the right, Dennis had penalty appeals waved away when he appeared to be brought down as he raced to get to a loose ball in the area.
And Dennis was involved again just after the hour when his blocked effort presented Dion Kelly-Evans with a chance to score his first goal for the club. The full-back’s shot was inadvertently diverted away from goal by his team-mate Thomas, however, and Yeovil breathed yet another sigh of relief.
Notts’ first booking of the game came on 68 minutes when Boldewijn was penalised for a foul on Hippolyte.
Booty made way for debutant Kyle Wootton shortly afterwards and the big forward’s first involvement saw him win a corner which led to another big chance for Thomas. McCrory did well to nod the ball down into the six-yard box but Thomas could only cannon his shot against the crossbar.
Still Notts pressed forward, Dennis forcing his way into the area only to be pushed wide by the onrushing keeper as the visitors settled for a corner.
But Ardley's men were hit with the ultimate sucker punch with nine minutes to play when a Yeovil free-kick resulted in Lee nodding the ball across goal for Wilkinson to power a header beyond Slocombe.
Graham, who needed treatment for what looked like a facial injury in the aftermath, then made way for Connell Rawlinson.
But there was nothing the substitute could do to prevent the Glovers extending their lead further as Hippolyte's low effort from just outside the area squeezed under Slocombe and into the net.
Four minutes were added on at the end, during which Brzozowski made a good save to deny Wootton and Boldewijn won a penalty following a strong run into the Yeovil area.
Dennis duly dispatched the spotkick but it was of little consolation to Notts, who will feel they created enough to win the game.