A 96th-minute Aaron Capon goal left Loxwood devastated as Eastbourne Town snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Saturday.
The Magpies were leading 1-0 through Ollie Moore’s third-minute goal as the clock ticked into the 86th minute, in which Capon netted a late leveller.
But the leaders weren’t done there as they clinched another late goal on the counter attack to continue their relentless title surge.
Loxwood boss Mark Beard admitted his side were devastated by the result, which was just their second defeat from 13 games.
He said: “It was gutting. I was so disappointed for the boys as we deserved to win it.
“Obviously they are chasing the league and the for last ten, well last 20 minutes, they threw everything at us - they had about six up front.
“But the game should have been dead and buried, we could have been five of six goals up with the amount of chances we had.
“The last two times we have played Eastbourne Town and Horsham, we have been up there with them. I 100 per cent believe we are the better footballing side, but that does not always win you matches.
“Going 2-0 up would have killed them off, but they kept going to be fair to them. Maybe we were a bit naive as well.
“When they equalise you are thinking, okay it’s a draw. We had a free-kick late on and I shouted for the centre-halves to stay back, but they wanted to go and try to win it – and they broke from that.
“It just shows the attitude of my players – maybe we should have been a bit safe and kept players back, but they wanted to go for it. We played 99 minutes in the end, God knows where that came from.
“There was one injury and we made two subs and they made three, which are 30 seconds each.”
The visitors led inside four minutes as a ball over the top saw them break and was squared into the path of Moore for a simple tap-in.
Sam Beard twice went close to extending the lead and Ollie Gill also had a chance in a first-half where Town felt they should have had a spot kick.
Loxwood’s best chance to extend their lead fell to Moore after the break as good work from Gill saw him tee up the forward, but it ballooned over the bar from six yards after bobbling up.
The equaliser came from a lightning Town counter attack from their own half, the ball was switched right and Sam Smith saved a shot only for it to be forced home by Capon at the far post.
The winner came deep in added time as a Loxwood free-kick was cleared and then hit forwards and Capon again finished at the back post.
Beard added: “People came up to us afterwards and said, a draw would have been fair, but I believe we should have won. They are up there for a reason though, they are good side, well organised and have some very good players.
“Some people have said teams raise there games against the top sides, but we just played the way we do every week.”
Loxwood: Smith, Courtney, French, Jacques, Holvey, Bachelor (Wood 52), Napper, Cave, Gill (Pitcher 65), Beard, Moore.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!