Esher 26 Moseley 22
Moseley's unbeaten record may have gone but there was still plenty to cheer for coach Ian Smith.
The former Gloucester and Scotland flanker rarely looked troubled throughout a game that had seasoned rugby followers gnawing at their nails as the visitors looked for a way through Esher's stubborn defence.
Smith watched his players recover from a nervy opening that saw their hosts romp into a tenpoint lead. But they finished strongly and had more than enough chances to make it six wins out of six in the league.
"I think we squandered six clear-cut chances - three in the first half and three in the second," the coach said. "It was down to poor decision-making but that's what happens in the bigger games, the nerves set in. But it is the creating of chances that is the hard bit.
"Winning is paramount but this team never thinks of the end result and we are basing our efforts on performance - if you don't perform you don't deserve to win but we created six good chances.
"One thing this side needs to learn, and on a rather quick learning curve, is to put sides under pressure. It is not all about entertainment. There are ways of winning and killing a game off which may not be entertaining but is effective," the coach added.
Lee Starling claimed a fifth minute try for Esher with Neil Hallett's conversion and an earlier penalty handing the Surrey side their 10-0 advantage.
Ollie Thomas and Hallett traded penalties with the Moseley fly-half edging his side to within seven points with his two sweetly-struck kicks.
Moseley drew level just before the break, Thomas chipping over the home defence for Nathan Bressington to scoot around the outside and score beneath the posts to hand Thomas the easiest of kicks.
Further penalties early in the second period saw the visitors nose ahead for the first time but it was Esher who bagged the crucial score when David Mac Callum strode through on 65 minutes for the only try of the half.
Hallett kicked the extras together with a further penalty and although Thomas replied late on, the Surrey side held on to maintain their unbeaten record and shove Moseley off top spot.
Thomas was also involved in his side's opening try three minutes before the break when his kick over the defence was collected by Nathan Bressington. The conversion ensured it was all-square at the break.
The pin-point accuracy of Thomas' kicking gave Moseley a 19-16 lead on the hour but a try from David MacCallum five minutes later proved a match-winner for Esher.
Thomas maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot with his fifth penalty in the closing seconds of normal time but for all their pressure, Moseley failed to find the score to keep their unbeaten record in tact.
"We started poorly and got it completely wrong early on," Smith added. "You can discuss things and go through things on video and in training but sometimes when you get out on the pitch other things happen.
"I though we had some pretty poor kicking in the first 20 minutes which invited them into the game. Having said that we managed to keep them out apart from the one score.
"But as soon as we learnt how to play the game and where to play it we came into it and for the final 15 minutes we created three good chances and I could have done with the game going on for another 15 minutes."