Frustrated Belper United failed to take advantage of a red card for their opponents when sliding to a 2-1 defeat at ten-man Selston in the East Midlands Counties League on Saturday.
The two sides began the day on the same number of points, nicely poised just behind the league’s frontrunners.
And when Perry Marriott was sent off for Selston midway through the second half, with the score locked at 1-1, United must have been confident of securing a morale-boosting victory against a team tipped to be challenging for the title.
Sadly, they were unable to make the numerical advantage count and, instead, it was Selston who came up with the winning goal, courtesy of Carl Moore 20 minutes from the end.
United had taken the lead in the 43rd minute when James Rushby tucked away a penalty. But they got off to the worst possible start in the second period when Keenan Layton equalised within three minutes.
The defeat left United tenth in the table, eight points behind the leaders. This Saturday, they travel to third-placed Anstey Nomads.