AFC Sudbury went down to their fourth league defeat in their last six at the Wardale Williams Stadium on Tuesday with a second-half header from Brentwood Town captain Martyn Stokes enough to seal all three points.
After a strong start it seemed only a matter of time before the Yellows got in front, but profligacy and a mix of desperate defending ended up costing them.
The only goal of the game went against the run of play after the restart when Stokes rose largely unchallenged to head home Louis Baucutt’s 55th-minute free-kick.
Kris Newby went close with a fierce free-kick late on which Ollie Bowles proved equal to, but the hosts could not find a way through a resillient Brentwood side.
The result leaves AFC in seventh place in Ryman League Division One North, but now five (from two) points adrift of the play-off place.
Elsewhere, Halstead Town lost 5-1 at home to Ryman League One North side Thurrock in the Essex Senior Cup third round.
* For a full report and reaction from AFC Sudbury’s defeat, including interviews with manager David Batch and new goalkeeper Marcus Garnham, see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press print edition.