THE sold-looking platform Widnes set at the start of the season is crumbling under their feet.
They were sent spinning to a fifth successive league defeat - this time against Euromanx South Lancs-Cheshire One high flyers Northwich.
It was all too easy for the visitors as an injury-hit Wids conceded seven tries in a one-sided second half.
But it had been so different before the break with the Heath Road hosts going in only 12-9 adrift - stand-off Andy Riley having kicked three penalties.
This was despite the injury jinx striking again as Andy O'Neill limped off with a damaged hamstring, followed later by second-row Mark Field and Ben 'Taff ' Glover.
Upon the resumption, Northwich ran amok with Widnes struggling for any sort of momentum against a bigger and faster outfit.
Northwich continually denied the home team possession at crucial times.
Visiting stand-off Gary Bell kicked seven conversions.
Assistant coach Peter O'Connor, although disappointed, stressed the Wids had performed well in the first half and picked out Tom Farmer, Karl Shingler and Kevin Farrow for a special mention.
Macclesfield 2nd 27 Widnes 2nd 5: With the first-team injury crisis continuing, the seconds are suffering a knock-on effect and had to contend with numerous late changes for the trip across Cheshire.
Not surprisingly, Maccles-field took advantage of the disorganised Widnes de-fence and had two tries on the board inside the first 10 minutes.
They added another score before Kyle McGreevey picked up a loose ball to race 50m for a great try.
The second half saw a 40m break from Mally Koo, playing in the unfamiliar role of centre.
He was ably supported by evergreen 'Crack' Riley, Ciaran Clark, Chris Morgan and Justin Winstanley.
However, the excellent Macclesfield back row had the final say, fashioning a further two scores near the end.
* WIDNES' horrendous injury run has eased ever so slightly in time for the first team's EDF Energy Senior Vase game at home against Crewe & Nantwich on Saturday.
Back into the equation come centre Craig Bennett, stand-off Phil Glover, prop Liam Wilde and captain Paul Borg.
The unbeaten junior colts host Fylde (ko 12.30pm) and the thirds have a blank weekend.
Widnes 1st (v Crewe & Nantwich, home, meet 1.30pm):
K Leadbetter, M Whitfield, C Bennett, A Riley, A Higham, P Glover, P Logan, L Wilde, B Glover, N Preston, J Simpson, T Farmer, K Shingler, K Farrow, P Borg. Reps: R Morgan, B Hazzard, J Skarratts, L Morton.
Widnes 2nd (v Wilmslow, away, meet 12.30pm): from: N Bliss, K McGreevey, J Win-stanley, M Koo, M Housley, C Clark, M Loughnane, A Loughnane, D Dyer, D Jones, D Watts, C Sutton, C McLoughlin, B Gill, C Little, R Murnane, C Winstanley, B Ellis, A Rigby, A Shaw, S Duffy.