If Gosport are relegated a week on Saturday, they may look back on the Bank Holiday Monday defeat at home to Oxford City as the moment their survival battle was lost.
They will certainly feel it was an opportunity lost as a win against Mark Jones' side would have meant Boro' leapfrogged both Whitehawk and Truro City - both of whom slipped to heavy defeats against Concord Rangers and champions-elect Maidenhead United.
Instead, on a hugely frustrating afternoon, Alex Pike's men rarely looked like scoring and were undone by Kaiman Anderson's tenth minute strike - which proved to be the winner.
The consequence is now that Boro' now head to Essex to tackle a tricky final away game of the campaign against Concord Rangers still two points adrift of safety when they might welll have been out of the bottom three.
The climatic and increasingly crucial final game against Whitehawk is still on course to make or break Boro's season.
Tony Lee almost had an early chance for the hosts, although he couldn’t turn his header towards goal after a ball from Aaron Dawson. Oxford then got on top and had already created a couple of chances before taking the lead on 10 minutes when Anderson fired a low shot into the net.
On 18 minutes Lee was denied a chance to equalise by a last-gasp clearance.
Gosport continued to look threatening. Lee almost got behind the Oxford defence but was just unable to bring Josh Carmichael’s clever pass under control.
The Gosport defence had to stay alert with Anderson and Jefferson Louis both looking dangerous in attack for the visitors.
Borough boss Alex Pike brought on Ollie Bailey for the second half to replace Duran Martin. The hosts created a couple of chances but also had to be wary of the visitors who were dangerous on the break.
Bailey had a couple of half chances and captain Joe Oastler went close on 82 minutes with his header dropping just wide as Gosport were defeated.
GOSPORT: Jordan, Sanders, Brice, Martin (Bailey 46), Oastler, Harding, Lea (Lanahan 58), Dawson, Lee, Carmichael & Bird (Suraci 74). SUBS NOT USED: McCarthy & Watch.
OXFORD CITY: Hill, Poku, Grant (Pijnen 66), Demuria, Henderson, Niate, Fleet, Davies, Louis, Anderson & Forde (Carvalho 71). SUBS NOT USED: C Daramola & Furlong.
REFEREE: Ian Fissenden
Updated 07:56 - 19 Apr 2017 by Site Manager