Bideford lost for the first time in four starts on Saturday when Western Counties leaders Wellington defeated them 25-12.
Wellington have only lost once at home this season and the form book pointed to a home win from the start.
Bideford dominated for the first 10 minutes and it was against the run of play that Wellington took the lead. As half time approached the Somerset side led 15-0.
Just before the break a Welllington clearance kick was charged down by Bideford and Ollie Sanders followed up to score a try.
The second half started much the same way as the first with Bideford on the front foot without any end product.
Wellington pushed on to lead 25-5, but in the last minute of the match Bideford were awarded a penalty try for an offence at a five-yard scrum.
Bideford remain fourth in the table, but now have Penryn and Teignmouth just a point behind them.
Simon Morrell, the Bideford coach, said an indifferent first half was largely responsible for the result.
"We were a little passive for large parts of the first 40 minutes, which clearly handed Wellington plenty of ball and field position," said Morrell.
"Wellington had an element of good fortune on their side and scored from a well-executed maul, a cross-filed kick and a charged down clearance. That was the game sewn-up before we got a foothold.
"We spoke quite honestly at half time about the need be less compliant and become the aggressors.
"Playing up the slope, we put in a much better account of oursleves and an 8-7 second-half scoreline was much more like it from us.
"Having had a good look at the top three sides away from home (Wellington, St Austell and Kingsbridge) we will relish the return fixtures in the New Year."
Bideford are away again on Saturday, this time to Chard.