Clew Bay United's push for a place in the top flight of Mayo football for the first time suffered a setback at Louisburgh on Saturday when they were held to a draw for the fourth occasion in seven outings.
Despite dominating the match for long periods against spirited Iorras Aontaithe B, United lacked the firepower to exploit a litany of decent second half scoring opportunities and register their third win of the campaign.
United's frustration was further compounded when they learned their three main promotion rivals – Claremorris, Ballinrobe Town and Kilmore – also failed to win.
The home side started brightly and midfield ace Conor Dyar forced a save of the highest quality from Iorras custodian Harry Reilly after nine minutes.
But they struggled in defence to deal with the twin threat of Iorras attacking duo, Steve Cawley and Jason Boylan.
Cawley should have scored from close range when he was set up by Boylan's unselfish delivery, but United goalkeeper Shane Collins did exceedingly well to turn the ball around his right-hand post.
Boylan had a golden chance of his own moments later only to hook his attempt over the crossbar when defender Joe Dyar succeeded in closing down the Iorras ace's space.
United snatched the lead against the run of play four minutes before half-time. Patrick Durkan's incisive diagonal pass picked out the unmarked Steve McGreal who directed the ball sweetly into the net from point-blank range.
Iorras, to their credit, hit back instantly. . .and how.
When space opened up in front of Jack Deane, the promising young midfielder elected to shoot from 40 yards and his stunning effort squeezed into a bottom corner of the Clew Bay net.
Perhaps it could be argued that Collins should not have been beaten from such distance, but that would be an injustice to the power and accuracy of Deane's piledriver.
United pushed forward at every opportunity in the second half in a determined bid to secure all three points.
The experienced John Dyar put enormous pressure on an Iorras defence that was inclined to play too deep at times, but the relentless search for a winning goal was to prove elusive.
The most clearcut opportunity of all was engineered by Dyar with four minutes remaining.
He controlled the ball neatly on his chest before laying it off to Conor Dyar who had goalkeeper Reilly at his mercy.
But he ballooned his effort over the crossbar from 12 yards to let Iorras off the hook. The miss epitomised Clew Bay's performance in many respects.
Iorras had resigned themselves to defending for long periods of the second half as Tommy Gill was winning so much possession for United at midfield.
However, Paul Reilly's leadership proved instrumental in securing his side's eighth point in seven games.
Afterwards Reilly revealed: "We were more than happy to get a draw".
In contrast, the disappointment on the face of United manager John Scanlan told its own story.
Clew Bay United 1
Iorras Aontaithe B 1
Clew Bay United: S. Collins, D. Fagan, J. Browne, Joseph Dyar, J. Beckett, P. Durkan, C. Dyar, T. Gill, D. McGreal, S. McGreal, John Dyar.
Subs used: K. Cuddy, G. O'Malley and M. Mulrennan.
Iorras Aontaithe B: H. Reilly, V. McGrath, P. Reilly, P. Gaughan, S. MacArthur, K. Carey, J. Deane, J. Scrip, P. Geoghegan, J. Boylan, S. Cawley.
Sub used: P. Ginley.
Ref: P. Redmond (Castlebar).
●Star rating: Tommy Gill. . .forceful.