Newhaven lost a league game for only the second time in 2013 as they went down 3-2 at a wet Mile Oak Rec on Saturday afternoon.
The Dockers missed the opportunity to go level on points with leaders Littlehampton Town, who also lost at Eastbourne United, on a day that saw County League games postponed and abandoned.
The hosts went in to the interval a goal to the good after Nick Kerly had given them the lead with a header.
Newhaven came storming back at the start of the second half and went ahead through two similar goals from Jason Goddard and Freddie Beale.
But two goals in five minutes, from Gary French and Aaron Ransom, gave Oak a lead that Newhaven were unable to come back from.
Dockers manager Paul Harrison made three changes to the side that had scraped past Wick the previous weekend.
Scott Edwards, Jason Goddard and Mark Probert all returned to the starting line-up, replacing Barry Knight, Lucas Mann and Simon Blaxall respectively.
This was Mile Oak’s eighth straight home game – a run that had seen them beat leaders Littlehampton, but lose to bottom club Saltdean United.
The rain was relentless from around midday onwards. Water was standing on the pitch but referee Nick Baker, perhaps under pressure to get the match played, gave the go ahead.
It made for an awful game of football, but exciting nonetheless.
Chances were few and far between in the first half but the hosts were lucky to keep ten-men on the pitch when Ebou Jallow was blatantly held back when through on goal.
Neither the referee or his assistant were interested leaving Newhaven players and staff bemused.
Oak took the lead eight minutes before half-time. A free-kick was played wide and then whipped in to the Newhaven area. French headed back across goal for Kerly to nod home.
The visitors barely threatened in the first half but got straight at their hosts at the start of the second.
And it took just four minutes for the Dockers to level. Jason Goddard powered in a header from a Terry Gacias corner, leaving Aaron Stenning no chance in the Oak goal.
Newhaven continued to press and ten minutes later went ahead for the first time. In almost identical fashion Freddie Beale met another Gacias corner and again found Stenning’s net from 6 yards.
Another ten minutes past before the hosts found an equaliser. For the fourth time in the match the goal came from a set-piece. A corner came in and dropped at the feet of French who fired past Jake Buss.
Oak used the momentum they had gained from the equaliser and took the lead for a second time. Lloyd Skinner played a ball through to Ransom who made no mistake finishing one-on-one with Buss.
Dave Altendorff and Harry Millar were introduced as the visitors looked for a way back in to the game. Altendorff went close when he sent a lob just over Stenning’s crossbar.
Lee Robinson also had an effort kept out, after Stenning had lost the ball in the wet ground, but the home side held on for the hard-earned three points as the Dockers were left to rue a missed opportunity.
Jake Buss, Jason Goddard, Daniel Murray, Scott Edwards, Luis Freitas, Sean Breach (c), Terry Gacias, Mark Probert, Lee Robinson, Ebou Jallow (Dave Altendorff), Freddie Beale (Harry Millar).
Man of the Match: Terry Gacias