Leverstock Green were beaten 2-0 at home by Welwyn Garden City as Ryan Laville was given his marching orders just six minutes into the second half.
A third straight defeat means Leverstock are still looking nervously over their shoulders, although results elsewhere meant that they still maintain a five-point cushion over the five sides below them.
This was a game that Levy should have won during a first half where they were the better side and created a number of good chances, but the ball wouldn’t go in the net.
In the second minute a shot from Curtis Donaldson that was heading for the top corner brought a great save out of Welwyn keeper Kieron Clayton, before Alex McCarthy came in for a header at the far post, but it went wide.
On 18 minutes a cross from Laville found Lewis Cruwys at the far post, but his header was cleared off the line.
Cruwys was denied again on 27 minutes when he connected with a Donaldson cross at the far post, but his first-time volley was saved by Clayton.
Within a minute Cruwys floated a cross to the far post for Ollie Buckley, who got there ahead of Clayton but lifted the ball over the bar.
In the 32nd minute Buckley cut inside before hitting a shot that came back off the post, while a Cruwys shot was saved by the legs of Clayton.
At the other end Welwyn had created a few chances but not extended Liam Jahn.
There was a moment of controversy on 40 minutes when the referee spotted that Ryan Laville was not wearing shinpads. Laville was asked to leave the field but was then booked moments later for re-entering the field of play without permission. This was despite the fact that he hadn’t actually left the field to put the shinpads on.
The booking proved costly later, and also contributed to the Green side losing their focus for a few minutes.
In the 42nd minute former Green player David Parkinson took advantage by getting in behind the defence to run clear and shoot the visitors into a 1-0 lead.
There was still much to play for after half-time, but just six minutes into the half Laville received a harsh second yellow card for a challenge, and Leverstock were down to 10 men.
A minute later Parkinson was clean through for Welwyn but Jahn saved again, however on 65 minutes a ball from Parkinson put Kersey through to shoot Welwyn into a 2-0 lead.
The Green side were not able to create the same momentum in the second half as they had in the first, and Welwyn held on comfortably for the win.
Leverstock are in action again at Hadley tomorrow night.
Leverstock Green: 1. Liam Jahn, 2. Tommy Walsh (12. Dan Bourne 72 mins), 3. Dan Hartley, 4. Curtis Donaldson, 5. Joe Horwood, 6. Jack Copson, 7. Ashley Addison (15. Danny Fielding 72 mins), 8. Alex McCarthy, 9. Lewis Cruwys, 10. Ollie Buckley, 11. Ryan Laville. Subs not used: 14. Tyler Osborne, 16. Dan O’Donnell.
Welwyn Garden City: 1. Kieron Clayton, 2. Sam Perrin, 3. Jay Welsh, 4. Danny Payne (16. Carl Mensah 78 mins), 5. Yasin Boodhoo, 6. John McGrandles, 7. David Parkinson, 8. Daryl Smith (14. Nathan Dimmock 61 mins), 9. Ash Kersey, 10. Luke Robbins, 11. Jason Caswell (12. Josh Bronti 66 mins). Sub not used: 17. Jay Lovell.