Rugby Town were unlucky not to come away with at least a point after a much-improved second half display against Anstey Nomads at Butlin Road.
Tayo Alexander-Tucker struck for the visitors with the only goal of the match after just nine minutes to ultimately extend Valley's losing streak to seven games in all competitions.
There were four changes to Town's starting line-up with the returning loanee Caine Elliott and new signing Silvano Obeng coming into the side along with Courtney Lashley and Josh Thomas.
The hosts made a nervy start to the game, with the Nomads enjoying significant possession in and around Rugby's penalty area from the off.
Nykah Liburd-Hines had already pushed away Lewis Gibbons's shot, when he was beaten by Alexander-Tucker's effort - which took a strong deflection off Town skipper Barry Fitzharris before nestling in the net.
Obeng's weak shot straight at Anstey keeper Conrad Logan after good work on the left by Lashley had represented the home side's only real opportunity ahead of the opening goal, and Town struggled to create much more for the remainder of what was a cagey opening period overall.
The only other half chances ahead of the interval all fell to Anstey's Luis Rose. First he was denied by the advancing Liburd-Hines and then he shot well off target from twenty yards, before also lifting one onto the roof of the net as the half drew to a close.
Rugby returned after the interval with enhanced purpose and quality to their play, and Lashley was soon nearly levelling the scores when he ran onto Karabo Motshweni's pass to beat Logan with his strike - only to see Gibbens slide back and clear the ball away from the goal-line.
Zak Harris did clip the top of the bar with a decent effort at the other end, but it was generally Valley that looked the most likely to score, with a dangerous Jordan Wilson pull-back headed clear and then a Wilson header to a Motshweni free-kick directed straight at Logan.
Elliott also put one straight into Logan's arms from distance, and Motshweni's cross-shot drifted over, as Town's more encouraging display continued, with further deliveries into the box by both Lashley and Motshweni then causing more problems for the Anstey back-line.
After a succession of Rugby corners, they were denied an equaliser again when sub Edwin Ahenkorah struck the base of the post from a wide position - with the ball bouncing conveniently back into the body of the grateful Logan.
Gaps began to open up in the Town defence as they continued to push for a goal, meaning the visitors did have chances to extend their lead - with Rose somehow failing to finish off his jinking run into the box and Andy Kanga-Mandjoba hitting the post too.
David Kolodynski made a positive impact on returning to action from the bench in the closing stages after nearly two months out with a broken wrist by first having a shot deflected wide and then seeing back-to-back efforts from twenty yards gathered by Logan, whilst Motshweni also fired one just wide before the final whistle came.