Three away games, three defeats, four red cards. Boston United’s away day frustrations continued as the nine-man Pilgrims were beaten 2-1 by FC United of Manchester.
The Red Rebels began the day bottom of the National League North table and without a point at Broadhurst Park, but fully deserved their victory against an out-of-sorts and ill-disciplined Boston side.
Gregg Smith received his second red of the season - just 46 minutes after returning from a three-game suspension - for a wild lunge on Scott Kay, and now faces a further matches on the sidelines.
Brad McGowan, who had already conceded a penalty in the opening 10 minutes, saw his afternoon end in the 58th minute, adjudged to be the last man as he sent Jason Gilchrist tumbling on the edge of the penalty area.
Sweeping changes were made prior to kick off, with Adam Murray bringing in seven players from the side which was beaten 3-0 by Spennymoor Town in midweek.
The most eyebrow raising was Jay Rollins, back at the club after leaving in the summer.
Smith and Jack Cowgill - both back from suspension - and James Clifton, returning from illness, were handed starts, as were Jan Yeomans, making his first appearance of the league campaign, Mason Warren and Jamie McGuire.
The Pilgrims - who had never trailed away at FC United - previously recording four wins and a draw, fell behind in the eighth minute following a soft penalty.
Nathan Lowe sent George Willis the wrong way from 12 yards after referee Leigh Doughty adjudged that McGowan’s lean on the same player constituted a foul.
And it was 2-0 nine minutes before the interval as Connor McCarthy outmuscled Clifton and slotted beyond the Pilgrims keeper.
In between those two goals the Pilgrims had chances to draw level but through balls to both Rollins and Smith were overhit, offering poor angles and shots struck at full stretch, while Ashley Hemmings fired a 20-yard snapshot wide of the mark.
Those two red cards killed off any chance of a Pilgrims fightback and the second half was a drab affair with Boston forced to play hopeful balls into the channels for Kabongo Tshimanga to chase while the Rebels were happy to make the most of their man advantage and pass the ball about.
However, it could have been 3-0 as James Hooper saw a 25-yarder strike the bottom of the Pilgrims bar before bouncing back into play.
With a minute to go Boton gave themselves hope as Adam Chapman stabbed home a Tshimanga cross from close range, but there was too little time for a leveller.
FCUM: Allinson, Brady (Senior 77), Wisdom, Kay, Fagbola, Hughes, Lindfield, Lowe, Gilchrist (Irwin 67), Connor (Hooper 67), McCarthy; Subs (not used): Greaves, Logan.
UNITED: Willis, Clifton, Yeomans, McGuire, McGowan, Cowgill (Keane HT), Rollins (Broadhead 60), Chapman, Smith, Hemmings, Warren (Tshimanga 54); Subs (not used): Hare, Waite.
Ref: Leigh Doughty.