Craig Spink’s first game in charge of Harworth Colliery ended in a 2-1 home defeat to bottom side FC Bolsover.
The reverse left second bottom Harworth seven points adrift of safety in Division One.
Spink, however, will have been encouraged by the performance as Harworth could count themselves unlucky not to come away with at least a point.
Harworth were denied a penalty after 11 minutes when Sam Foulds was wrestled to the ground.
The home side were well on top but could not turn the pressure into goals.
And on 25 minutes they found themselves behind when Jack Warwick’s deflected shot gave Bolsover the lead against the run of play.
Greg O’Driscoll saw his header go just over the bar as the hosts went in search of an equaliser.
Harworth were back level two minutes before the break when Matt Thomson lobbed the ball over visitors’ goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
The home side continued to press after the interval with Foulds seeing a header ruled out for offside.
However, Bolsover grabbed the lead for a second time on 80 minutes when Warwick’s close range effort crept over the line.
The visitors might have had a third in the last minute when they were awarded a penalty but Sam Jepson made a great save to keep out Brett Lucas’s kick.
“On reflection I can’t believe we’ve lost the game,” said Spink.
“But there are lots of positives and something to start with so we can move up the table.”
Bolsover’s victory moved them to within four points of Harworth, having played one game more.
Colliery host tenth-placed Swallownest on Saturday.