Sizzling Oxford City Stars were given a reality check just before Christmas as they gear up to take on their closest challengers on Sunday.
The NIHL South1 leaders welcome Bracknell Hornets, who sit threateningly eight points behind with four games in hand, to Oxpens Road as they aim to make it an immense 13 wins on the bounce.
But Kenny Redmond’s side were given a real fright before securing a tight 7-5 success away to Bristol Pitbulls in their only festive fixture.
The Stars have blown away five opponents with double-figured scores so far this campaign but, on this occasion, they had to fight back from a 3-1 deficit after 26 minutes.
Four goals inside three minutes however gave the away side a lead they would cling on to.
Josh Oliver (29 & 30), Dax Hedges (30) and Kamil Kinkor (31) found the back of the net as the Stars scorched their bewildered hosts within the blink of an eye.
Oliver netted his third of the afternoon just before the end of the middle period and Joe Edwards rounded off the win with a 48:03 strike.
Goals from Michael Hargreaves (2), Olly Shone (24 & 27), Matthew Thornhill (52) and Macaulay Coppock (56) ensured the tenacious Pitbulls belied their lowly position in the table.
City would make a big step towards the league title with a win against Bracknell, who overcame Guildford 5-3 on Saturday, at the weekend.
Face off is at 6.15pm on Sunday.