Mighty Be Forward Wanderers' faint title defence chances more or less disappeared following their 1-1 draw against Dwangwa United on Sunday at the Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.
The second-placed Wanderers needed the win to keep a far-fetched dream of defending the title in case of slip up by leader Nyasa Big Bullets in the TNM Super League.
But the Lali Lubani Road boys failed to the late title charge because of their failure to make more of what has been a defining week in their campaign.
As the result of failing to win against Dwangwa who are just above relegation on position 13 with 35 points from 29 games, the Nomads are, simply, out of the title race.
Nomads haven't been able to measure up, but it's not fair to say that coach Bog Mpinganjira's team have blown it, because they have not been in as dominant position as the Silver Strikers.
The erstwhile champions must learn how to bridge that gap if they are to hold real hopes of winning the league next season.
The Nomads scored first through Joseph Kamwendo.It was a well curved free kick in the first half and went to recess with a 1-0 lead.
But there were some questionable refreeing decisions starting in the 62nd minute when Felix Zulu was fouled closer to the centre line and the referee waved play on to the dismay of Wanderers officials on the bench who stood up in protest and it was the same move that gave Dwangwa an equaliser.
Game on, both sides searched for a winning goal and in the 68th minute there was a clear hand ball inside Dwangwa's half but the assistant refree on the right flank and the referee waved play on.
Wanderers tried to reason with the officiating team but they sticked to their decision.
Game continued and Dwangwa found a chance after a thunderous shot outside the box but goalkeeper Nenai Juwayo was equal to the task with a briliant save.
Another moment of much talk came in the 70th minute when Esau Kanyenda was brought down inside the box in what looked a clear penalty but the referee denied it.
Wanderers protested but they were not entertained.
Tempers flared from this moment as there were fouls that denigrated the football match into some rugby affair but the referee was too soft for the home side.
In post match interview,Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira blamed the referee for poor officiation.
"I have never complained about refrees but what l have witnessed today is a shame.They denied us two clear penalties and there were fouls against us which he let Dwangwa players scot free,"said Mpinganjira.
Dwangwa coach Llyod Nkhwazi saluted his boys for a come back.