Two late goals sent 10-man Warrington Town crashing to a 2-1 defeat away at lowly Hyde United in the Northern Premier League.
The Yellows led through Stefan Mols’ first half opener, but the game turned on its head when Matt Regan was sent off shortly after the hour mark for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
Substitute Harry Ditchfield equalised in the 81st minute and then Lewis Earl headed home the winner with just a minute left.
Mark Beesley side have now won just one of their last six games, yet remain in the play-off places.
The Yellows were unchanged from the 2-1 win over Nantwich Town on Tuesday against a Hyde side who had parted company with manager Jim Gannon in the week.
On the artificial surface at Ewen Fields on a rainy and blustery afternoon, it was an open and entertaining game.
There were just six minutes on the clock when Dan Atherton was first called in to action, getting a strong left hand down to deny Harry Benns from close range.
And then moments later at the other end, Jordan Buckley crashed a shot against the outside of the post.
Buckley was playing out on the right and had a few looks at the Hyde defence, though was largely well marshalled by Jordan Fagbola, and when he managed to find some space, he lost his footing on more than one occasion.
The openness of the game was encouraging a goal and it duly came on 15 minutes. Brad Roscoe was dispossessed by Sean Williams having strode out of defence, and Mols went on the attack, forcing the Hyde defence back in to the box and then screwing a reverse shot in to the bottom corner.
Mols had a chance to make it two on the half hour mark, Buckley’s cut back falling to the Spanish midfielder in the box and he hit over from a good position.
At the other end, Atherton got down to stop a deflected Tom Pratt effort and then in the closing stages of the first half, Fagbola smashed a shot wide after a scramble from a corner.
It should have been two within minutes of the restart, stand-in captain Josh Amis put through by Buckley but the striker’s touch got away from him and gave enough time for Roscoe to come back for a goal-saving tackle.
Williams then found the roof of the net with a fine half-volleyed effort, before Bohan Dixon, probably the Yellows’ best on the day, dragged a shot wide.
But Hyde gradually took control of the game and moments after Pratt had flashed a shot across goal, the visitors were reduced to 10 men, Regan bringing down Jonah Mitchell on the edge of the box on a breakaway and was shown a straight red.
The hosts were dominating possession and territory now, though the Yellows were holding firm. Their anxiety and frustration though was evident when a double yellow card was handed out to Beesley and kit man Dom Finnegan for their remonstrations at the officials over two decisions – one when Earl wasn’t booked for a blatant pull on Dixon to stop a counter attack, and then when Evan Gumbs was penalised for a foul on Pratt.
A swerving shot from range by Mitchell was beaten away by Atherton and then substitute Jack Mackreth had a half-chance, shooting well wide first time when he was probably better placed to take the touch.
And it fell apart for the Yellows in the final 10 minutes.
Pratt found space in the right side of the box and pulled back for substitute right-back Ditchfield to side foot home from eight yards out, and the momentum was all with Hyde.
Mitchell squandered what looked like a glorious chance, dragging a shot wide and just beyond the outstretched Pratt, but the referee pointed to the corner flag despite protests from the Yellows.
And from it, they were punished. A wicked in-swinging delivery from Mitchell went beyond the outstretched hand of Atherton and was headed in by Earl at the back post to earn the hosts a crucial win, and their first since December 11.
Hyde United: Green, Bird (Ditchfield), Summers, Fogerty (Ikpakwu), Fagbola, Roscoe, Benns (Uche), Earl, Mitchell, Tongue, Pratt. Unused subs: Cunningham, Green.
Warrington Town: Atherton, Baillie, Coulton, Dixon, Gumbs, Regan, Mols (Roberts), Williams, Buckley (Mackreth), Amis, Duffy. Unused subs: Hough, Grivosti, Hall.
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