We suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Dagenham and Redbridge on a frustrating afternoon when Michael Doyle also saw red.
The Irishman was shown a second yellow card shortly after debutant Alex Reid had scored the first of his two goals, which came against the run of play after we'd made the better start to the second half.
Neal Ardley made four changes to the side that drew with Dover Athletic in their last league outing.
There was a debut for Cal Roberts, who replaced the bench-bound Sam Osborne, while Ross Fitzsimons took the injured Sam Slocombe’s place between the sticks after being recalled from his loan at Chesterfield yesterday.
Damien McCrory didn’t travel due to injury, allowing Zoumana Bakayogo to reclaim a starting berth, and up front Kristian Dennis, who scored in both of our matches against the Daggers earlier this season, was favoured to Wes Thomas.
We made a bright start to the game with Dennis having two early chances to continue his scoring streak against the Londoners.
Within the opening five minutes he saw a deflected effort held by goalkeeper Elliot Justham and, moments later, a brilliant piece of distribution from Fitzsimons played the forward in one-on-one. Justham was quickly off his line and Dennis was unable to dink the ball over him with his weaker right foot.
Dennis continued to prove a menace for the Daggers’ defence as he unleashed a sweetly-struck 20-yard effort on 13 minutes. It didn’t have the direction to trouble Justham, though, and as Dagenham launched their retort Michael Doyle entered the book for a challenge from behind on Sam Deering.
The hosts’ first threatening moment came on 17 minutes when their breakaway down the right resulted in Chike Kandi dragging his low shot across the face of goal and wide of the far stick.
Dagenham had to wait less than a minute for their next opportunity as Fitzsimons was called upon to make an instinctive save with his legs, denying marauding wing back Liam Gordon a goal from inside the area.
And, minutes later, Daryl McMahon’s side had another opportunity to break the deadlock when Justham’s long kick evaded the backtracking Enzio Boldewijn, releasing Kandi into the area. He could only blaze his shot over.
Our response came from Dennis once again as the forward controlled a nicely lofted Doyle pass before firing the ball narrowly wide with a low shot from the edge of the box.
The game’s topsy-turvy fashion continued as Mitch Brundle’s header was well tipped over by Fitzsimons before Roberts came agonisingly close to marking his debut with a goal when he was played into the area by Wootton. He showed lovely poise to cut on to his favoured left foot and tried to dink the ball over Justham, who made an excellent save to keep the ball out.
Dagenham were then forced into an early change when debutant defender Gabriel Zakuani hobbled off the field in place of Manny Onariase.
But they nearly served up the perfect tonic to that disappointment by carving out a golden opportunity to take the lead on the stroke of half-time. It came from an attack down the right, with Reid squaring the ball for Brundle to tap home a couple of yards out. The Daggers man couldn’t sort his feet in time, however, and the ball ran to safety.
There were no changes at the break and we started the second half brightly, Dennis seeing another effort blocked after latching on to Wooton's flick-on.
Further chances proved hard to come by in the opening exchanges of the second period, however, with the next shot on goal coming shortly before the hour when Boldewijn cut in from the left and fired the ball over from the edge of the area.
And, as quiet as they had been in an attacking sense in the second half, it was Dagenham who took a 61st-minute lead when a low corner found its way to Reid for a close-range finish.
Things then went from bad to worse when Bakayogo's misplaced pass allowed Deering to skip past Doyle, who dragged him back and collected a second yellow card as we were reduced to 10 men.
Ardley made a double change in response, sending Thomas and Jim O'Brien on for Roberts and Dennis.
O'Brien, making his return from a horrific leg injury sustained in the FA Trophy win at Chesterfield in December, quickly found his name in the book for a foul on Daggers' dangerman Deering.
We were facing an uphill task and it got even harder on 79 minutes when Fitzsimons was unable to parry Brundle's shot to safety, allowing Reid to pinch his second goal of the game with a simple finish on the rebound.
Thomas had a header well saved by Justham, Onariase made an excellent clearance from under his own crossbar and Wootton nodded the ball over as we pushed for a way back into the game.
But our efforts proved fruitless as we slipped to defeat in the capital.