A dismal display was totally unacceptable to show that Holbeach United are lacking the qualities to challenge for the championship.
Games in hand might offer an opportunity for the Tigers to close the gap.
But the reality is different because they are not good enough.
There has been a feeling all season that Holbeach would probably come up short when the top two take promotion.
They showed absolutely nothing on Saturday to suggest otherwise.
It was pretty pathetic with a lack of urgency when three points were needed.
Mid-table Cogenhoe United were much better and should have won by a bigger margin.
Sean McBride’s far-post header proved enough and the Tigers never looked capable of hitting back.
They were desperately bad with long balls aimlessly sent nowhere.
A series of fouls added to the pressure at set-pieces and the Cooks took advantage as McBride nodded home Liam Tuck’s corner.
Montel Dore had already gone close twice while Rick Drury denied McBride at the end of the first half.
Luke Avis failed to convert Holbeach’s first chance when Stuart Lutter easily gathered a weak finish.
After the interval, a couple of changes to the formation made no impact.
They created nothing with a 4-4-2 system and should have gone 2-0 behind as Matt Long burst clear but fired over.
The Tigers switched to 3-4-3 but Will Bird, Joe Braithwaite and Charley Sanders missed the target from set-pieces.
In open play, Holbeach were hopeless all afternoon.
Drury made a late stop from Joseph Shanley but the Cooks deservedly took the points.
4-2-3-1: Lutter; Melling, Barnell, Stevenson, Smith; Chipchase (sub Inwood 90 mins), McBride; Long, Tuck (sub Shanley 90 mins), Dore; Dove. Subs not used: Gartland, Hyman, Brazier.
4-2-3-1: Drury 5; Cartwright 5, Braithwaite 5, N Jackson 5, A Jackson 5; Smith 5, Tinkler 5 (sub Barker 67 mins, 5); Avis 5 (sub Bird 60 mins, 4), Zuerner 5 (sub Sanders h-t, 4), Griffiths 5; Leckie 5.
McBride (17 mins, 1-0).
Peterborough Northern Star (A) – Tuesday.