Ten-man Hawks slipped to a damaging 2-1 defeat by play-off-chasing rivals Chelmsford City at West Leigh Park.
Giuseppe Sole gave the Hawks a dream start with a ninth-minute goal.
But within a minute the home side found themselves down to 10 men as Ian Selley picked up a straight red card.
The home side held out until half-time but two goals in the first eight minutes of the second period sealed their fate.
Elsewhere, Pat Cox’s goal was enough to hand Gosport a 1-0 win at home to Frome in Southern League division one south.
Second-placed Bognor shared a 1-1 draw with Ryman division one leaders Met Police.
And in the Wessex League premier division, Fareham suffered a 3-0 loss at Fawley.