Horncastle Town were left counting the cost of Steve Brown’s early red card as they crashed to a 4-1 defeat against Skegness Town at The Wong on Saturday.
Town had high hopes of victory in a Supplementary Cup clash after an impressive performance at champions Skegness in a recent league game.
Although Town lost that match 2-1, Skegness had to rely on a last-gasp matchwinner.
However, Town were up against it on Saturday after Brown was dismissed after just 20 minutes.
Their 10-men battled bravely and it was only in the final 20 minutes that a typically strong Skegness side made certain of victory.
Town suffered a blow before the start when skipper Chris Johnson pulled out and Scott Lowman slotted into a re-jigged back four along with the recalled Andrew Shinn.
They settled quickly and Michael Harness and Danny Bent both went close before Brown was sent packing for a deliberate trip.
Town switched to a 4-4-1 formation with Nathan Rawdon impressing in defence, Olly Johnson shining in midfield and Harness and Tony Edwards working hard to support Bent.
A man short, Town did struggle to create many openings but were happy with a 0-0 score at the break.
Skegness took the lead after the re-start with a looping header, although there was some debate about the free kick that led to the goal.
Town could have equalised but Bent headed wide after great build up play by Harness.
Bent was replaced by Carl Smith but Skegness then took advantage of a lapse at the back to make it 2-0.
It quickly became three before Richard Jackson carved out an opening for Harness who made no mistake.
Town boss Paul Johnson rang the changes late on and went to three at the back, but Skegness sewed things up with a fourth goal.
Town: Burchnall, Rawdon, Shinn, Brown, Loman, O Johnson, Hatrness, Jackson, Bent (Smith), Lovett (Low), Edwards (S Johnson).