Cambridge’s longest trip of the season bore little fruit as the Reds lost 3-1 to Northland FC at Whangarei’s Trigg Arena.
The home side went ahead after 16 minutes through Mitchell Hanmore and that’s how the score stayed till half-time.
Almost on the hour, Hanmore found the net again – but this time, putting through his own goal to give Cambridge an equaliser.
Two minutes later, Kyle Levell restored Northland’s lead.
With a few minutes left, Hanmore made up for his own goal, scoring Northland’s third and decisive goal.
The result leaves Cambridge in fifth place on the table, one of a cluster of clubs chasing Onehunga Mangere United and Fencibles United who currently fill the promotion places.
Despite the two Auckland clubs winning this weekend, neither can afford a slip and Cambridge have five games left in which to mount a promotion challenge.
Cambridge have a game in hand over their rivals and get the chance to make ground when they visit the divisional leaders next week.
The Reds’ next fixture is away to Onehunga Mangere United on Saturday August 14 (3pm).
Second division results
Fencibles United 1 Oratia United 0
Beachlands Maraetai 0 Greenhithe Catimba 0
Franklin United 0 Hibiscus Coast 2
Onehunga Mangere United 4 Claudelands Rovers 0
UniMount Bohemian 3 Papatoetoe 2
Northland 3 Cambridge 1
In the early game, Cambridge U-23s beat Northland 1-0.