Loxwood assistant manager Matt Camp believed ‘cheap’ defensive errors were to blame for their 2-0 defeat at Three Bridges.
The Magpies went into the game in fine form, losing just once in seven league games, but failed to get the better of a Bridges side they beat 1-0 earlier this season.
A goal in each half from Jensen Grant and John Lansdale saw Bridges leapfrog seventh-placed Loxwood in the Premier Division table.
After a scoreless first-half, the hosts found the breakthrough on the 56th minute mark, when Grant headed in Lansdale’s free kick.
However, Loxwood were presented a way back into the game just ten minutes later, when Jamie Crellin was alleged to have handled Michael Wood’s strike.
The usually composed Tiago Andrade stepped up, but fired the resulting penalty over the bar.
Loxwood posed little threat going forward after the miss, and fell further behind after 73 minutes when Lansdale fired in from a corner.
Camp was frustrated at the manner in which they conceded the two goals, and at their poor play in the final third.
He said: “If it had been a draw, there would have been no complaints but we definitely didn’t deserve the win because our play in the final third wasn’t good enough.
“We talked before the game about the importance of not giving away cheap free kicks in and around our area but unfortunately that’s what we did.
“You can’t give teams like that opportunities which they will thrive upon and we knew that.
“That’s obviously what they do well and practice on, but it’s disappointing that we gave them that chance.
“We had enough of the ball to create something but our play in the final third wasn’t up to the standards that we would expect.”
The result sees Loxwood drop into eighth place, a straight swap with Bridges, who now lead them by a solitary point.
But Camp stressed that it is a very tight league and this kind of result can happen at any time to even the best teams in the league.
He added: “It’s so tight in the top nine and everyone knows that.
“For example, no one would have predicted Uckfield to beat Haywards Heath.
“It’s going to be very tight until the end and you are going to see these results.
“It looks like something on the lines of 70 points will be enough to go up which is unheard of in the last few years, normally it’s 80 or 90.
“It’s a question of who holds their nerve in the second half of the season.”
Loxwood: Smith (Barr 82), Holvey, Warren, French (Wright 80), Mobsby, Rouane, Bachelor (Jardim 68), Napper, Andrade, Moore, Wood.Unused: Dominique, Swaine.