Huntingdon Town threw away a two-goal lead when having two players sent off on an afternoon to forget.
Jimmy Brattan’s men were beaten 5-2 by Irchester in a United Counties League Division One clash at Jubilee Park.
Town saw skipper Corey Kingston dismissed for using foul and abusive language towards the referee shortly after opening the scoring.
Adam Richardson then doubled their lead before Irchester hit back to level in the second period.
Town defender Odie Wason receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence then proved to be the major turning point with the nine-man hosts powerless to prevent their visitors from hitting three more goals.
“We started really brightly and could have been a few goals up inside 10 minutes,” said Brattan.
“Then literally five minutes after he scored, Corey was sent off for questioning whether or not the referee had seen Ben Keating get wiped out off the ball.
“If he had abused the referee I would have understood the red card, but I’ve heard far worse in my time.
“At half-time I told the boys to keep going as they were, but our keeper had tweaked his groin and changed to hitting his goal-kicks with his left foot without telling anyone.
“He scuffed two of them and Irchester scored both times, but even at 2-2 with 10 men we didn’t look like we’d crumble.
“But then Odie picked up his second yellow card and as soon as we went down to nine men they put fresh legs on.
“It took its toll on us as we started to tire and it was always going to be hard to chase a game for 30 minutes when two players down.”
Town remain 17th in the Division One standings ahead of a trip to promotion hopefuls Harrowby this Saturday, 3pm.
The Lincolnshire side are unbeaten in 12 games but are currently looking for a new boss after previous chiefs Paul Rawden and Russell Cousins moved to higher-level neighbours Grantham Town this week.
“I’m not sure what’s going on there at the moment,” added Brattan. “But it’s a game that is a free hit as far as I’m concerned.
“We almost got a result against them at our place earlier in the season when they beat us 4-3 and we’ll give it our best shot again.”