Woodhouse United missed a golden chance for three Rochdale Sunday League points away to a struggling Wardleworth side on Sunday.
A dramatic contest on the 3G pitch at Kingsway ended with only 18 players on the field and a 4-3 score in Wardleworth’s favour.
Woodhouse had crashed 8-0 to derby rivals Hollins Holme in the Halifax FA Sunday Cup the previous weekend and boss Rhys Gibson and his assistant Patrick Hallinan made it clear to the players beforehand that such a limp effort was unacceptable.
United set out to make amends in positive style, passing well and taking the lead through Callum Hallinan.
Wardleworth, without a league win, equalised with virtually their first shot before a flare up led to the dismissal of Woodhouse’s Chris Ford and two home players.
The incident unsettled Woodhouse more than their hosts, who despite having a man fewer scored twice more before half time and once more after it to open up a 4-1 lead.
Wardleworth were then reduced to eight men when one of their players reacted to a full-blooded 50-50 challenge from Dan Lively.
Lively hit the post and the bar and Marc Walters was denied by a good save but despite a plethora of chances the visitors could only pull back two goals and came up short.
Gibson said: “The ball just wouldn’t go in. I couldn’t fault the players’ effort - they did everything they could.”
Woodhouse play another of the sides below them in the table, Duke of Wellington, at home on Sunday. They have already beaten them 6-1 this season.