Halstead Town were left ruing missed chances as they were beaten 1-0 by local rivals Braintree Town Reserves in Thurlow Nunn League division one.
Manager Mark Benterman felt his team got hit by a "sucker punch" as their four-game unbeaten run was ended at Rosemary Lane.
The defeat saw Halstead drop two places to fourth in the division one table.
However, they will get a quick chance to gain revenge as the two sides are due to meet again at Braintree's Amlin Stadium on Wednesday.
Benterman said: "Missed chances cost us as we got sucker punched and lost 1-0.
"We must now regroup and go again on Wednesday."