Sitting second in the EVO-STIK League Premier Division, Nantwich were humbled 4-1 at home by a Matlock side that is steadily rising up the league and towards the play-off places.
The Cheshire side led 1-0 at half time but were blown away by the Gladiators in the second half.
They travel to bottom of the league North Ferriby United on Saturday.
Player-coach Steve Jones told the club’s official website: “The defeat was very disappointing to say the least but the boys have done really well up to that point and even the best teams have an off day. That’s what I put it down to. We have had a lot of games recently and the boys looked mentally tired.
“But we learn from defeats, that’s what all good teams do and we go again. The boys were down as expected, no-one likes to lose at home especially a 4-1 but we have a chance to put it behind us on Saturday.
“Good teams bounce back, and we have no fear and be determined to make sure we get the win. The lads are chomping at the bit for Saturday that’s for sure. I know the Matlock defeat hurt everyone at the club and we have to make amends.”
There is a limited schedule in the EVO-STIK League Premier Division this weekend due to the FA Trophy.
Matlock entertain Bamber Bridge, Warrington Town travel to Hednesford Town and Marine host Gainsborough Trinity, as well as Nantwich’s trip to the north east.
The Gladiators could continue to close the gap between themselves and the play-off places, while Warrington Town could climb up to second should they win and Nantwich lose.
Matlock boss Dave Frecklington said: “Bamber Bridge is our biggest game of the season because it’s our next game.
"We’ve set targets, firstly to get out of the bottom three, then out of the bottom six and then to mid-table which we’ve achieved.
"On Saturday we have the huge incentive of trying to win our first Saturday home game since we arrived, to try and win three on the spin in the league and get into the top eight. Our job was to keep Matlock in this league.
"There’s been an incredible turnaround in our fortunes made all the more remarkable as we’ve had eleven players out, but for those that have been playing they’re in possession of the shirt and it’s theirs to lose.
" They have been brilliant. We want to keep improving, bit by bit.”
Frecklington is hoping to welcome back Dwayne Wiley, Marcus Marshall, Michael Williams and Jamie Jackson as their injury worries ease.
Elsewhere, Bamber Bridge and Marine are both four league games without a win, with the Crosby side in particular looking for a positive result to move away from the relegation zone.
A total of 10 sides from the division are in FA Trophy action, with Scarborough, Farsley, Whitby and Grantham without a game.
To view all the weekend's games, visit the EVO-STIK League fixtures page.