Nine-man Mablethorpe Athletic held out for a thrilling 3-3 draw in East Lincs Combination Division One on Saturday.
Athletic were in control of an entertaining game until Jack Knight and Alex Carter were dismissed, allowing Cleethorpes Town A to fight back to take a share of the spoils.
Danny Marshall opened the scoring after two minutes when he bundled in Adam Brownson’s corner from close range.
But Cleethorpes equalised almost immediately from the penalty spot through Paul Jones after Dave Quinn was adjudged to have brought the striker down.
Mablethorpe restored their lead just five minutes later when Jack Knight ran onto Marshall’s through ball to fire home.
The flurry of early goals continued when Cleethorpes grabbed a second equaliser in the 11th minute as Callum Degruchy released Reece Moody who raced clear to score.
Callum Hyland’s powerful strike was well saved by Dave Birch before Alex Carter rattled the bar with a good long-range effort and Marshall’s shot also struck the bar from Brownson’s low cross.
In first half stoppage time Mablethorpe took the lead for a third time when Knight’s thunderous drive hit the post and the rebound fell kindly for Lee Bebbington to tap in.
The second half failed to live up to the first with only one more goal and two dismissals.
Knight was first to go for a second yellow card following his first half booking, and soon after Carter saw red for a foul on Alex Dwyer.
Things went from bad to worse when Joel Mann powerfully converted Jacob Smith’s low cross to make it 3-3.
Within minutes of the restart, Degruchy was denied by another fine save from Toby Davies, and at the other end man-of-the-match Brownson curled a free kick inches over.
Both sides pressed for a late winner with Degruchy’s effort blocked by Quinn, while Skeldon’s shot was narrowly off target for Mablethorpe.
Moody whipped in a corner and Tom Wingate flicked on for Jones to shoot wide with the last kick of the game.
Mablethorpe worked tirelessly to avoid defeat after being reduced to nine men, but manager Mick Stubbs saw this result as two points dropped rather than one gained.
He said: “We played some good football and created many chances, but didn’t take enough of them.
“I thought the penalty against us was very harsh and some decisions didn’t go our way.
“It was a great effort by the nine players to hang on for a point.
“Man-of-the-match was not easy to decide with several contenders.”
On Saturday, Mablethorpe travel to Tydd St Mary in the Lincolnshire County Cup (kick-off 1.30pm).
Mablethorpe (4-2-3-1): Davies; Brownson, Carter, Sirett (c), Quinn; Bebbington, Hyland; Knight, D.Marshall, Whiley; Skeldon (Turner 87).