Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Leamington 3
Hemel Town were turned over at home by Leamington as the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division leaders saw their six-match unbeaten run come to an end.
The Tudors still have a five-point gap at the summit of the division but second-placed Leamington will fancy their chances of overhauling Hemel, with four games in hand on the leaders.
The visiting side took a 2-0 lead into half-time at Vauxhall Road on Saturday and, despite Hemel halving the deficit shortly after the restart, the Brakes sealed the win with a third.
And Tudors manager Dean Brennan is urging his side to recover quickly from the set-back.
“It was disappointing to lose but this game was never going to decide our season,” he said.
“It is important that we bounce back this weekend against Frome, so we have got to show our character.
“Individual errors cost us on Saturday but the one thing is expect from the lads is work-rate and they all worked hard.”
Hemel started brightly on Saturday, but Leamington created the first meaningful chance when a Liam Daly header was blocked on the line.
Dave Pearce then came close for Hemel as he cut in from the right to curl a shot just past the post.
Tudors defender Ryan Parsons came to his side’s rescue with a brave double block soon afterwards, but Leamingtom went in front after 19 minutes when James Husband’s cross was deflected in by Hemel’s Joe Bruce.
And the visitors made it 2-0 15 minutes later, Husband again the creator as his cross was finished well by Ricky Johnson.
The Brakes held the lead to half-time but Hemel came out quickly after the restart and were back in the game when Craig Owen put the ball into his own net.
The joy proved to be short-lived, though, and Leamington wrapped up the win with a Lee Chilton goal just three minutes later.
Hemel are back in action on Saturday, hoping to bounce back to winning ways in a league fixture at Frome Town.