Chesterfield were a man down after 90 seconds of their home clash with Preston North End, and went on to lose the match 0-2.
Home defender Sam Hird was given his marching orders for pulling back Joe Garner when the Preston front man was through on goal early on, and Garner further compounded the Spireites misery with two headed goals to settle the contest.
Speaking after the game, manager Paul Cook reflected on a challenging night for his Spireites side.
"It was very difficult," said Cook. "Our lads stuck at it extremely well. We respect Preston and the quality they've got in their side and when you've only got ten men it was always going to be an uphill battle.
"Tonight wasn't our night, Preston have come and played well on the night, it's a great result for them and we all move on to the next game."
There was controversy surrounding two of the key moments in the game. Lilywhites striker Garner was possibly offside for the game's pivotal early red card, while 'keeper Tommy Lee looked to have been fouled in the build-up to Preston's second.
Cook said: "The referee told me at half-time that the 23 [Ian Evatt] has played him [Garner] onside, but it's clear that the 23 doesn't. It's not a hard decision after two minutes of the game, but that's the way it goes.
"I respect the linesman if he thought he's on, some of them go for you, some of them go against you and it's gone against us today.
"Like everyone else they're only human, they make mistakes and that's the end of the matter."
Cook was philosophical in defeat and gave credit to the visiting Preston side, who further cemented their play-off credentials with their Proact win.
The manager said: "Once the sending off came it was always going to be difficult, but credit to Preston.
"You can see in Garner up front, he's a handful and a top class player and Simon's got good players and we wish them well for the rest of the season."