AFC Sudbury dropped into the Ryman League Premier Division relegation zone for the first time this season after losing 4-1 at Wingate & Finchley last night.
The Yellows went into yesterday’s clash at the Harry Abrahams Stadium buoyed by Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to Folkestone Invicta, which saw recent signing Danny Crow score his first goals for the club.
But any hopes of recording back-to-back wins were all but over at half time, as goals from Ahmet Rifat, Reece Beckles-Richards and Ben Pattie helped Wingate take a 3-0 lead into the break.
Tommy Tejan-Sie made it 4-0 just after the hour mark, before Crow grabbed a consolation goal for AFC 13 minutes from time.
The defeat, coupled with victories for Burgess Hill Town and Canvey Island, saw AFC drop into the bottom four for the first time this season.
At the other end of the table, Needham Market missed the chance to close the gap on the top two after drawing 1-1 with relegation-threatened Merstham.
The visitors took the lead on 16 minutes through Omar Folkes, before Luke Ingram equalised for the Marketmen ten minutes from time.
Despite then creating several chances to score again, Mark Morsley’s side were unable to find a late winner, which would have put them just three points behind leaders Bognor Regis Town.
Elsewhere, Bury Town conceded a 90th minute goal to draw 2-2 at Ware in Ryman League Division One North.
A brace from Ollie Hughes had given the Blues a 2-0 lead at Wodson Park, before Murat Karagul scored from the penalty spot on 76 minutes to pull a goal back for the hosts.
And the comeback was complete in the last minute of normal time when Gareth Price found the target to rescue a point for Ware.
Team Bury’s hopes of reaching a final at the end of the season came to an end last night, following a 2-0 defeat at King’s Lynn Town Reserves in the semi-finals of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division Knockout Cup.
In the First Division, Halstead Town kept their slim promotion hopes alive with a 1-0 win at Debenham LC, while AFC Sudbury Reserves were beaten 2-0 at home by Holland FC.