Horsham’s fight for survival in the Ryman League suffered a set-back with a 3-1 defeat to promotion-chasing Whyteleafe on Saturday.
The Hornets paid the price for a slow start where they went two goals down early on despite a spirited showing in the second half.
Their hopes of building on last weekend’s vital win at Hastings United were hit before kick-off with Tom Vickers and Tom Bold declared unavailable and George Branford and Gregg Berry took their places in the midfield.
Whyteleafe arrived at Gorings Mead boasting an away record bettered only by Burgess Hill and Faversham and they took their first steps towards recording a thirteenth victory on the road after just 12 minutes through Greg Andrews.
A Joe Obersteller error then allowed Andrews to draw Gareth Williams from his line before picking out Roscoe DSane for the second.
Four minutes later, George Branford’s deep corner made its way to Greg Berry who, despite a bad first touch, stuck out a long leg to send the ball looping into the far top corner.
Horsham had chances to level in the second half before Jason Thompson headed home Leafe’s third from a corner with eight minutes remaining,
Horsham: Williams, Hope, Gilbert, Byrne, Obersteller, Nwachukwu, Welch (Rogers 83), Branford, Berry, Camara (Izokun 69), McCreadie. Unused subs: Izokun, Storey, de Andrade.