Home United fell to their first loss of the 2017 S.League campaign on Friday night as they were defeated 3-2 by Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Prior to Week 8 clash, the Protectors had been in excellent form to sit just five points behind champions Albirex Niigata (S), with a game in hand.
It looked as though they were on their way to another positive result when Amiruldin Asraf fired them ahead after 13 minutes.
However, goals by Khairul Amri, Shakir Hamzah and Daniel Bennett before half-time turned the game on its head.
Amiruldin struck again in the 85th minute to give Home United a glimmer of hope, but they failed to find the equaliser to fall to a surprise loss.
The result also means that Tampines are now up to second on the table, overtaking Home in the process.
It was the Stags who created the better of the chances early on, with Fazli Ayob and Ryutaro Megumi both calling opposition keeper Hassan Sunny into action with a couple of decent efforts on target.
Nonetheless, with 13 minutes on the clock, Home who broke the deadlock. Song Ui-young slipped a neat ball through to Amiruldin, who calmly finished past the onrushing Joey Sim.
But a minute after the half-hour mark, slack defending allowed the designated hosts to level the scores as Amri ghosted in unmarked to volley home a Shahdan Sulaiman corner.
Ten minutes later, it was Shakir's turn to be left attended in a dangerous position. He, too, made no mistake, receiving possession from Ismadi Mukhtar's cross before firing past Hassan at the near post.
Coming into the game, Home laid claim to the S.League's third-best defensive record, having conceded just six goals in seven outings.
Yet, uncharacteristically, they looked vulnerable at the back and it led to them conceding a third right on the stroke of half-time. While Shahdan provided another good delivery from a corner, Bennett arguably should not have been allowed to make a darting run towards the near post.
Once there, the 39-year-old defender made no mistake in guiding his header into the back of the net.
Still, Home were handed a lifeline with five minutes remaining when Amiruldin was released once more, this time by Abdil Qaiyyim's incisive pass, and clinically slotted his shot under Sim.
But it ultimately proved to be too little too late as Tampines held out for the win to move four points behind leaders Albirex Niigata (S).
Tampines Rovers: Joey Sim, Ismadi Mukhtar (Jufri Taha 79'), Fahrudin Mustafic, Daniel Bennett, Shakir Hamzah, Fazli Ayob (Madhu Mohana 90'), Son Yong-chan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ryutaro Megumi, Yasir Hanapi, Khairul Amri (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 76')
Home United: Hassan Sunny, Juma'at Jantan (Marijan Suto 29'), Abdil Qaiyyim, Afiq Yunos, Sirina Camara (Sufianto Salleh 55'), Hariss Harun, Song Ui-young, Shamil Sharif, Faris Ramli, Christopher van Huizen (Haziq Azman 76'), Amiruldin Asraf