Newport Pagnell Town lost to high-flying Rugby Town 2-1 on Saturday, but only after they had two men sent off and conceded twice late on at Willen Road.
Lewis Rankin's second half brace ultimately won the game for second placed Rugby, but Newport led for a lengthy spell after Josh Winters' first half header before disaster struck.
Keeper Mark Osborn was adjudged to have handled outside his penalty area just 90 seconds into the second half, reducing the Swans to 10 men. With outfield player Liam Smyth going between the sticks, it took Rugby 25 minutes to equalise, before then taking the lead with nine minutes to go.
A late tackle by Winters then prompted a 20-man fight between the sides, earning Winters a straight red. There was still time for Newport to be denied a penalty late in the day, but it would be a frustrating afternoon for manager Darren Lynch.
Speaking to sportsshots.org.uk, he said: "It's the story of our season - we create the chances, we miss them and ultimately we get punished. The be-all and end-all is that we have to score goals and take our chances.
"At the end of the day, we had two sendings off but I felt we should have had a penalty at the end of the game. I was over the moon with the first half performance and I felt we should have been more than a goal up.
"But the sending off of our goalkeeper ultimately cost us the game. It's harsh, but the laws of the game say if he handles outside the box, he has to be sent off. The linesman was flagging but he wasn't even close to play.
"Josh saw red and he has had a moment of madness which will cost him a three match ban.
"It' all ifs and buts, I felt we looked comfortable, but the sendings off cost us the game."
The result leaves Newport toiling in 16th in UCL Premier Division. They take on Northampton ON Chenecks next Saturday.