Banbury United’s survival bid suffered a setback in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash at fellow strugglers Dorchester Town.
The Puritans saw their mini-revival ended in a 3-1 defeat which leaves them in the premier division relegation zone.
Another red card, this time for Joel Meade, played a big part in the defeat as the visitors had to play for most of the contest with ten players.
United got off to the best of starts, going ahead in the fifth minute. Jordan Green created the goal with a typical run inside the area, his shot was saved by Shane Murphy but Leam Howards was on hand to knock the loose ball home.
It could have been 2-0 just three minutes later but Howard’s shot from inside the area was saved by Murphy. United received a huge set-back in the 17th minute when Joel Meade brought down Ben Watson when he was through on goal, just outside the area and was duly shown the red card.
The equaliser arrived in the 23rd minute when a low cross was slotted home at the far post by Dan Smith. A minute later Leigh Bedwell brought down Watson in the area and he picked himself up to convert the ensuing spot-kick.
Two minutes before the interval Sam Lanahan hit the bar but just two minutes later he had made it 3-1.
Despite the man disadvantage, United competed well early in the second half. In the 58th minute a mis-kick from Murphy allowed Tom Ryan, now pushed up front, to set-up Howards but he fired over the bar.
In the 62nd minute United had a good shout for a penalty turned down when Murphy appeared to push over Howards. Despite the assistant referee signalling for a penalty, the referee waved play on.
Dorchester finished the game well on top with Bedwell making good saves from Jack Odam and Dan Smith.