Horndean plunged deeper into National League division two south relegation trouble after losing 3-1 to fellow strugglers Arun-VC.
The Deans were strong favourites going into this fixture at Priory School.
The referees should have used some common sense instead of rushing to award the set to ArunNasser Ssemuwemba
But their hopes were dashed when the referees awarded the first set 25-0 to the visitors.
The decision was made when one of the post hold-downs at the Priory School court broke during the official match warm up at the net.
This forced the referees to penalise the home side for every 20 minutes it took the sports hall official to secure the post.
After the incident which lasted more than 30 minutes, the home side’s rather fragile confidence took another knock when their buoyed Chichester-based rivals got the second set 25-21.
But the Deans swiftly lit the spark with an all-round display of solid blocks and attacks that helped limit their opponents to only 12 points in their third set triumph.
However, even Festus Nfor’s man-of-the-man performance together with Willard Hans Shongue and Tyler Everitt’s exploits could not lift the Deans to victory.
They were edged out in the fourth set 25-23, to succumb to their fifth successive loss.
Deans coach Nasser Ssemuwemba admitted the Deans switched off at the crucial moment during their defeat to Arun.
But he is optimistic the team can enjoy a swift turnaround in fortunes.
He said: ‘It was another disappointing result for us.
‘I know we were unlucky with the post hold-down break.
‘And I also think the punishment that followed was a bit over the top, as it was not our fault the bolt broke. We don’t own the venue, we just hire it.
‘The referees should have used some common sense instead of rushing to award the set to Arun.
‘But we cannot blame the match officials for the failure to keep the pedal to the metal after an outstanding third set display.
‘It is lack of concentration at key moments of the game which in the end led to our downfall.
‘I feel we will now have to dig deep in order to get back to winning ways.’
The Deans will be hoping for some good luck and better performances during their next three home fixtures.
They return to action after the Christmas break with the visit of City of Bristol on Saturday, January 9.