Title-chasing Home United wasted an opportunity to leapfrog Albirex Niigata (S) at the S.League summit when they were held by Warriors FC to a 1-1 draw at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.
More worrying for Aidil Sharin's side, they are heading into next week's AFC Cup ASEAN zonal final against Philippines outfit Ceres-Negros with a poor run of just one win in their last six outings.
Irfan Fandi scored early for the Protectors, but they were pegged back by Shahril Ishak's equalising penalty just before half-time as they rued two valuable points dropped.
Warriors could have made the best possible start by scoring inside three minutes.
Canadian winger Jordan Webb, who missed a crucial penalty in their League Cup defeat to Albirex last Friday, got past two players down the left. He fired a shot which Home goalkeeper Hassan Sunny had to keep out at his near post.
Home broke the deadlock with their first meaningful opportunity nine minutes later.
Staying up in the box after a half-cleared corner, Irfan got to a Haziq Azman scuffed shot before firing a low shot beyond Hyrunizam Juma'at from six yards out.
The 19-year-old, however, saw his participation in the game ended by the half-hour mark due to injury.
That handed the initiative to the Warriors as they came close to an equaliser in the 31st minute, with Romanian forward Andrei Ciolacu seeing his 20-yard grounder come off the post.
Kento Fukuda then had a spectacular volley attempt which sailed over the bar, before they restored parity just before the break.
After being fell by Haziq in the box, Shahril dusted himself off to bury the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner for his 11th goal in all competitions.
Razif Onn's side carried where they left off after the restart. Webb fired over from close range before Shaiful Esah's well-struck free kick escaped the left-hand post by inches.
Home did have a couple of chances to retake the lead, but Croatian forward Stipe Plazibat fired a free kick straight to Hyrunizam before substitute Amiruldin Asraf's shot was charged down by an in-form Fukuda.
Aidil Sharin's side were unlucky not to turn one point into three as Sufianto Salleh's cross-shot from the left was deflected onto the bar.
The result did not suit their respective title chances. Home are now a point behind Albirex while Warriors are a further five behind, having played a game more.
The White Swans can extend their lead at the top to four points when they host Balestier Khalsa at Jurong East Stadium on Wednesday night.
Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Shamil Sharif, Irfan Fandi (Adam Swandi 31'), Hariss Harun, Juma'at Jantan, Haziq Azman, Izzdin Shafiq (Sufianto Salleh 81'), Iqram Rifqi (Amiruldin Asraf 46'), Aqhari Abdullah, Faris Ramli, Stipe Plazibat
Warriors FC: Hyrulnizam Juma'at (GK), Emmeric Ong, Kento Fukuda, Baihakki Khaizan, Ho Wai Loon, Syaqir Sulaiman, Shaiful Esah (Poh Yi Feng 86'), Ridhuan Muhammad, Shahril Ishak (C), Jordan Webb , Andrei Ciolacu (Fazli Jaffar 86')