TONBRIDGE ANGELS, who had set the standard at the top of the Bostik League Premier, suffered their third consecutive defeat at the hands of bottom club Harlow Town.
They have failed to score in any of those games, and have slipped to five points behind leaders Dorking Wanderers, who have a game in hand.
Harlow had yet to register a victory after the first 15 games of the season but Tonbridge let them into the contest with an inept first-half display.
The hosts offered little up front but the Angels lacked intensity and were bedevilled by poor passing and often careless defending.
On 24 minutes a Tom Beere free kick caused problems in the Harlow defence and the ball ran loose but Joe Turner’s cross was off target.
Five minutes later Harlow had their only effort of the first period when a free kick flashed just wide of Jonny Henly’s left-hand post.
In the second half, the home side’s occasional forays into the Tonbridge final third were easily dealt with by the defence.
The Angels did improve slightly after the interval with an Arthur Lee header crashing against the crossbar on 50 minutes.
But it was not until the 72nd minute that they managed to create another opportunity, when a free kick was headed just over.
It seemed the only way Harlow would score would be through an error in the Tonbridge defence, and it duly arrived in the 85th minute.
A miskicked clearance and a moment of hesitation allowed Harlow substitute Laurence Vaughan to slip through and prod the ball into the net from close range.
Tonbridge threw caution to the wind and played with the intensity that had been missing but Harlow defended as if their lives depended on it.
Steve McKimm was angry afterwards, saying: “The players have let me, the board and the supporters down this afternoon.
“They need to take a long, hard look at themselves and ask questions of their current performances.
“We haven’t changed the system of play, which saw consistent success just a short while ago.”
The Angels are at home to Leatherhead on Saturday [November 24, kick-off 3pm].
They have been given a tough but attractive Kent Senior Cup tie at home to National League side Ebbsfleet United, date to be confirmed.