After taking the lead against a Nantwich Town side reduced to 10 men Frickley Athletic were pegged back and had striker Gavin Allott sent off as they threw the points away in their latest Evo-Stik Premier League game.
Saturday’s game started well for the Blues, but they were left counting the cost of a defeat that saw them lose vital ground in a relegation scrap that looks to be going right down to the wire.
Manager Karl Rose restored Ben Simpson to the number one shirt and Fernando Moke came back into the starting 11 in place of Joe Kenny with new signing Gareth Grant on the bench.
On a difficult, bobbly pitch and playing with the wind behind them in the first half Nantwich had the first effort as Andy White saw his 20-yard shot fly high and wide.
Four minutes later Allott played the ball forward for Luke Hinsley to break clear on the edge of the box and he was bundled over from behind by Nantwich captain Alex Frost. Referee Joe Hull immediately produced the red card for Frost and Luke Jeffs saw his free-kick blocked by the wall.
Aaron Burns clipped an 18-yard effort just wide for Nantwich before Jeffs played a great ball through for Allott who beat the last defender before firing in a fierce shot that Steve James parried.
Despite not taking complete command following the dismissal of Frost the Blues had the most of what few chances there were in the rest of the first half. Jake Picton headed over from a Jeffs corner and saw a 25-yard shot deflected over.
Simpson was called into action just before half-time when he was forced to dive full length to push an instinctive effort from Burns past the post after a long free-kick had caused havoc in the box.
The Blues took the lead 11 minutes into the second half when Allott appeared to be fouled as he attempted to break into the box, but Jimmy Ghaichem picked up the loose ball to shoot into the top right hand corner from 16 yards.
However, they were only ahead for 90 seconds as Oliver Devenney took advantage of a slip by Kasper Amdal to fire an angled shot past Simpson.
Allott fired just over the bar from 12 yards following a free-kick on 63 minutes, but the momentum of the game turned on its head two minutes later when Allott was sent off following a tussle with Ben Deegan. The Blues striker appeared to fling his elbow at Deegan and was red carded.
Deegan it then was who scored what turned out to be the winner as a corner was headed against the bar and he followed up to slam the ball into the empty net.
The Blues gave it a go to claw something out of the game with Moke having a great run from half-way before seeing his 18 yard shot pushed just past the post by James.
Hinsley thought he had equalised on 76 minutes when his shot on the turn was cleared off the line, seemingly by an arm that was not spotted by the officials and seconds later Sam Denton hooked a 15 yard shot over the bar.
Denton then headed just wide and Moke’s great cross was volleyed well by Grant, but straight at James.
In the last seconds Picton seemed to be tripped just inside the box but the referee waved play on with Denton putting the loose ball just wide.
Frickley Athletic: Simpson, Amdal, Villermann, Picton, Denton, Jeffs, Moke, Wilcox, Hinsley (Grant), Allott, Ghaichem.
Referee: Joe Hull