Crawley Town suffered a controversial home defeat when Northampton Town's Kevin Van Veen scored from the penalty spot early in the second half.
They were then dealt a second blow just two minutes later when topscorer Ollie Palmer was controversially sent-off for elbowing Aaron Pierre.
After a cagey first half, the game came to life eight minutes after the break when Palmer fouled Pierre in the area and Van Veen netted from the penalty spot.
Just two minutes after the penalty incident, Palmer looked frustrated as he grappled with the same player and appeared to elbow him, leading to an straight red card and uproar from the home fans.
Passionate Gabriele Cioffi received a yellow card himself for his protest.
The incident left Reds having to play out the remaining 35 minutes plus six additional minutes with just ten men.
Cioffi made just one change to the side which beat Crewe Alexandra 3-0 two weeks ago striker Palmer returned from suspension, replacing Ashley Nathaniel-George who was one the bench.
Dannie Bulman kept his place and wore the captain's armband.
Josh Payne received a yellow card for a foul just outside the area and from the ensuing free-kick, the ball went to Dean Bowditch who fired narrowly wide.
Reds nearly scored when Panutche Camara struck a curling shot from the left which rebounded off the crossbar.
It was a scrappy first half with little goalmouth action at either end of the pitch.
Camara broke for a promising attack which ended with Dominic Poleon completely mishitting his shot and the ball was cleared.
The visitors took the lead in the second half from the penalty spot, put away by Van Veen for his tenth goal of the season after Palmer bundled over Aaron Pierre in the area.
Moments later the same two players were involved in another incident when Palmer elbowed his opponent and received a straight red card.
Reds had a chance when substitute Reece Grego-Cox drove an effort which went past the post.
The atmosphere livened up and the tempo increased as ten-man Reds went in search of an equaliser.
Josh Payne launched a shot from the edge of the area which 'keeper David Cornell saved but spilled before the ball was cleared.
Camara, who showed pace throughout, blasted another shot wide in the closing stages.
The crowd made their feelings felt towards the referee a few minutes before full-time when Bulman was brought down when through on goal but no foul was given as Crawley had to accept defeat.
Crawley Town: Morris, Payne (Nathaniel-George 78), McNerney, Palmer, Poleon (Grego-Cox 61), Gambin, Francomb, Maguire, Bulman (capt), Camara, N'Gala
Unused subs: Mersin, Young, Doherty, Vincelot
Northampton Town: Cornell, Facey, Buchanan, Taylor, Hoskins (Powell 80), Foley (Crooks 58), Van Veen (Morias 80), Bowditch, Pierre, McWilliams, Turnbull
Unused subs: Ward, Williams, Bridge, Waters
Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 2,389 (499 away)
Man of the Match: George Francomb