Holbeach United produced a display full of fighting spirit to come from behind twice and beat Oadby Town 3-2 at Carter’s Park.
Referee Peter Howard was in the thick of the action with two red cards and the banishing of Poachers boss Lee Harriman from the touchline.
Oadby threatened early with striker Jon Stevenson letting fly from 18 yards before Holbeach defender Jonny Clay glanced a header from an Andrew Tidswell free-kick just wide a minute later.
But the deadlock was broken on 13 minutes when Ben Stephens’ 12-yard effort was palmed away from the Tigers’ goal by keeper Rick Drury, only for Stevenson to help himself to the rebound.
Holbeach were level six minutes later through a stroke of good fortune, or was it bad goalkeeping from Poachers stopper Ethan Somaiya whose attempted clearance hit Tigers striker Tommy Treacher and cannoned into the net.
But Oadby were ahead again just after the half-hour mark when Stevenson lobbed home after a shot by Ollie Brown-Hill was saved by Drury with his legs.
Fortunately for the home fans, Holbeach only took seven second half minutes to make it 2-2 when Tidswell picked himself up off the deck to beat two defenders and score a trademark goal.
It was then that the drama started with Treacher given a straight red for grabbing Oadby captain Joe Latham by the throat in an off-the-ball clash.
Latham followed him to the showere four minutes later after a second booking and Harriman was given his marching orders two minutes after that.
The coast was clear for substitute Josh Ford to grab the winner from the penalty spot after Somaiya up-ended him in the box.
After the match, Holbeach United manager Darren Jarvis admitted that his Tigers side were still short of showing their “full potential” despite beating Oadby Town.
A masterclass from Andrew Tidswell, influential at set-pieces and in front of goal, played a large part in the success at Carter’s Park.
Jarvis said: “Oadby are a very good footballing outfit and this is an excellent three points for us.
“Having not played that great in the first half when I firmly believe we could have been two or three goals down, we got the result without playing to our full potential.
“Every local team in this area, even one or two steps above us, would love to have Andrew Tidswell in their side because it’s not just on the ball where he’s good.
“It’s also his hunting on the ball and his energy on the pitch which is fantastic.”
Jarvis was pleased with the display of his three debutants, Nick Jackson, Jordan Thomas and Ollie Gale, but they were overshadowed by the straight red card given to Tommy Treacher.
“I did see Tommy hold (Oadby’s Joe Latham) round the throat, but it was no different to the incident in front of the dugout where Gary King and (Tendai Daire) got booked,” Jarvis said.
“I actually felt the sending off was a bit harsh and perhaps a yellow card would have been more appropriate.”
4-4-2: Drury 7; Worthington 6, Clay 8, Jackson 6, Ward 6; Clitheroe 5 (sub Thomas 71 mins), Tidswell 9, Warfield 6 (sub Gale 65 mins, 5) King 6; Gosling 5 (sub Ford 60 mins, 6), Treacher 6. Subs not used: Cartwright, Maltby.
4-5-1: Somaiya; Reynolds (sub Grouse 75 mins), Johnson, Latham, Hollist; Daire, Morgan, Sea;, Stephens, Brown-Hill; Stevenson. Subs not used: Gordon, Parker.