Horndean lost ground at the top of the Wessex League premier division with a disappointing 2-1 defeat at lowly Alresford Town.
Dan Hayes saw red early in the second half for the Five Heads Park outfit.
Nathan Kirby netted from the penalty spot with 20 minutes left but it was too little, too late.
Manager Craig Pearce blamed the defeat on a slow start.
‘We just didn’t get going in the first half and gave away poor goals,’ said the Deans boss.
‘Right from the kick-off, we gave the ball away and that set the tone.
‘In the second half, we were better and created at least five good chances.
‘We didn’t take them and it wasn’t our day.’
The Horndean cause was not helped when they had Hayes sent off five minutes into the second period for a second bookable offence.
Kirby converted his spot-kick on 70 minutes but it did lift the change the course of the match.
Moneyfields were also left to rue a disappointing start as they went down at the hands of Team Solent.
Dave Carter’s visitors paid the price for a poor first-half performance in their 3-2 defeat on the road.
And the former Horndean boss admitted his team are going through a transitional period.
‘We are still trying to find the right blend,’ said Carter.
‘In the first half we gave the ball away far too easily and left ourselves with a lot to do.
‘We got better as the game went on and deserved to get something from it.’
Tom Chapman and Gary Austin scored for the Copnor club.
Fareham Town’s pitch problems continued with their home game against Hamworthy United the latest casualty.
The Reds have not staged a home game since October because of drainage problems at Cams Alders.