Lakeside went down 47-36 in an incident-packed encounter with local rivals Eastbourne at Arlington.
The Vortex Hammers left empty handed after an eventful meeting littered with falls in tricky conditions.
It was a tough night for the Purfleet outfit, although they remain fourth in the Travel Plus National League table as they chase a play-off spot.
After earlier rain created an extremely tricky Arlington track , the Hammers were still in contention for an away point after heat 13, but Paul Hurry was forced to retire with bike issues in heat 14, resulting in a 5-1 to the hosts.
Captain Ben Morley and guest Danny Ayres returned the favour with a 5-1 in the nominated heat 15, but by then the chance of a league point was out of reach
Co-promoter Jon Cook felt his side “missed an opportunity” – but he knows their destiny is still in their own hands.
Said Cook: “Obviously conditions were a bit tricky, and I think that should have played into our hands a bit more than it did.
“We probably should have got a bit closer for that extra point which would’ve been a boost for our play-off quest.
“But it’s still in our own hands, and we’ll go to Buxton undeterred knowing it is in our own hands.”
Ben Morley top scored for the visitors and claimed three race wins, whilst Paul Hurry and guesting No.1 Danny Ayres put in solid showings.
But their lower order struggled with the tricky Arlington circuit as rider replacement failed to score a point in place of Alfie Bowtell.
The Hammers will head to Buxton for their final regular season fixture next Sunday, September 17 (3pm).
Tom Brennan 14+1, Jake Knight 9+1, Charley Powell 9+1, Georgie Wood 9+1, Jamie Halder 5+1, Matt Bates 1+1, Josh Bailey r/r.
Ben Morley 12, Danny Ayres 9+1, Paul Hurry 9, Nick Laurence 3+2, Connor Locke 3, Alex Spooner 0, Alfie Bowtell r/r.
Image: Danny Ayres (w) and Ben Morley (b) Credit Anticlockwise Photography