Parramatta's NRL season is on the brink of disrepair with the Warriors condemning them to a ninth loss in 11 games with a 24-14 defeat.
After the Warriors led 12-2 at the break, the Eels looked like getting their year back on track when they crossed twice to build a 14-12 lead with 19 minutes to play.
But they let the match slip just eight minutes later when Mitchell Moses misfielded an awkward Blake Green kick, allowing Warriors utility Jazz Tevaga to scoop up the ball and score.
Crucially, it came off the back of a Moses penalty for a leg pull, just as the Eels looked to be in control of the tempo and the Warriors pinned down their own end.
Moses - pushing for NSW State of Origin selection - was good for the Eels early in the second half as he played the ball more directly before the crucial back-to-back plays.
"They're big moments in the game that we're not nailing," Eels coach Brad Arthur said.
"We're trying really hard but we're playing really dumb and we're just not giving ourselves a chance in a tough competition.
"I thought (Moses) tried extremely hard, did a lot of good things ... kicked well ... but they're the sort of penalties we can't afford to give away out of our red zone."
Warriors hooker Issac Luke scurried over from dummy-half to put the ANZ Stadium contest beyond doubt with six minutes to play.
With 12 wins the likely minimum cut-off for a finals spot, the pre-season contenders need 10 victories from their last 13 matches to have a chance of playing finals football.
They will also finish the round at the bottom of the ladder for a 10th-consecutive week, with just two wins to their name.
The loss might also have come at a significant cost to off-contract veteran Beau Scott. He limped off with a knee injury midway through the second half.
The Warriors' victory ensures they remain in the top four - a position they are yet to relinquished - and for now equal on points at the top with St George Illawarra and Penrith.
They did it too without Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - who remained home for the birth of his child - and Shaun Johnson (ankle), while Luke was on return from a shoulder injury.
Back-up half Mason Lino again impressed, set up both first-half tries after overcoming his own ankle injury.
He put winger David Fusitu'a over for a miraculous mid-air effort in the 12th minute before kicking across field for Peta Hiku's try.
"He was in crutches in the review on Sunday morning after the game last week," Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said.