AFC Portchester had their 12-game unbeaten run ended in a poor 3-1 Wessex League premier division defeat at Lymington Town.
A woeful opening 20 minutes saw the Royals concede three goals and, though the visitors improved, there was no way back after that.
‘We were not at the races in the first half,’ said Royals manager Graham Rix.
‘It was a bit of a rude awakening and showed we cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal at any stage.
‘We were nowhere near as focused as we have been.
‘I can’t knock the players too much because they have been great but we will expect a reaction from them.’
All the Royals could manage was a late consolation goal from Elliott Roberts.
Fareham Town’s survival hopes suffered another dent with a 3-1 defeat at Alresford Town.
Though the Reds had an equal share of the game, they paid the price for missing chances, particularly in the first half.
Manager Matt Parr remains upbeat despite the defeat and believes his team can still pull off a great escape.
‘Though we lost there are no signs of desperation,’ said the boss.
‘We continue to work hard and all the players still have the belief we can stay up.
‘There are still a number of influential players to come back and we are sure we can do what is necessary.
‘Basically it is between us, Bournemouth and Christchurch for the second relegation spot.’
Both teams spurned chances in the opening 45 minutes with Ash Tattersall missing Fareham’s best.
The Reds had the ball in the net four times but all were ruled out for offside.
The home side took the lead midway through the second half with a soft goal from a long-range free-kick.
Fareham were then caught twice more on the break before Callum Laycock grabbed a consolation goal six minutes from the end.
‘We huffed and puffed a lot but lacked a cutting edge in the final third,’ said Parr.
Petersfield Town and Moneyfields had their games against Bemerton Heath and Totton & Eling respectively postponed.