Buxton Hitmen went down to the most disappointing defeat of boss Jason Pipe’s tenure, losing 50-40 at home to Stoke.
The writing was on the wall at Hi-Edge as early as heat three when the visitors raced to a 10-point lead.
It was a lead Stoke never relinquished and they perfectly executed their plan to attack the heats without Buxton’s top two.
Max Clegg remained unbeaten all afternoon and Matt Williamson, despite an uncharacteristic mistake in his first outing, was also relatively untroubled.
The home side’s reserves and second strings struggled and the lack of home outings told.
Pipe was an unhappy man: “In my time as Buxton team manager, that goes down as my most disappointing defeat so far.
“We had a good crowd and the lads knew it was a must win meeting if we are to avoid the wooden spoon again this season.
“But it just didn’t happen for us. The score in the end showed just how much we are still missing that six, seven points a meeting rider.
“We were a three rider team and that isn’t good enough to win even home meetings.
“Fair enough all of Stoke’s riders do have a liking for our track and four of them are ex Buxton riders, but we still should have beaten them yesterday and it’s left me feeling very disappointed.
“No excuses that we haven’t rode at home for seven weeks, I won’t accept that as an excuse.
“We lost this meeting in the first three races when we went 10 points down and over the last 12 races it was 36-36.
“I don’t know where our riders were in those first three races, but I know they certainly weren’t at the races.
BUXTON 40: Max Clegg 14+1, Matt Williamson 11+1, Tom Woolley 8, Lee Geary 3, Ryan Kinsley 2, Ben Woodhull 1+1, Jamie Halder 1.