Chasetown FC left Leicestershire empty-handed despite a first-half performance which left top three side Coalville Town on the back foot.
The Scholars gave as good as they got in the first half and an early Andy Westwood chance and a Richard Teesdale header showed that they were not just there to make up the numbers.
The visitors could have taken the lead after strong appeals for a penalty were turned down when Paul Sullivan tumbled under a challenge from Jamie McAteer.
The Ravens felt they had cause to complain when Ryan Price caught the ball outside his penalty area, but the referee felt a free kick was sufficient punishment and no card was shown.
Although Coalville had some good possession in the final third, Chasetown were matching their efforts at the other end.
Craig Harris’ men took the lead in the 33rd minute when Danny Bragoli’s pass set up Danny Smith and his shot looped over keeper Sean Bowles.
The hosts were straight on the attack for an equaliser and Anthony Carney was narrowly wide with a header from a pinpoint Callum Woodward cross.
Sullivan was inches wide of doubling Chasetown’s lead with a low shot that had Bowles beaten but also the post as the first half drew to a close.
Six minutes into the second period the game turned on its head with a controversial incident. Jordan Nadat slipped the ball into Anthony Carney who appeared to be tripped on the edge of the area with the referee pointing straight to the penalty spot.
It took a further five minutes before the actual penalty was taken – with confusion ensuing as a red card was shown with it being unclear who to. After discussion with his two assistants and, what appeared to be complaints from the players about the decision to brandish a red card, the red card was brandished in the direction of left back Louis Keenan.
Eventually, Woodward stepped up and fired to Price’s right to level the scores.
Coalville took their extra man advantage and turned the game in their favour. Price kept out a Danny Jenno free kick and then the Leicestershire side took the lead in the 70th minute when Andy Hutchinson provided the assist for substitute Jordan Hempenstall to fire home.
Reece Lester struck the post before Price pulled off a tremendous save to keep out Woodward, but from the play that followed from the corner, Price kept out Hempenstall but was helpless to keep out the follow up from Ben Saunders.
Hutchinson and Gary King had late efforts saved as the home side ended the game strongly, but 3-1 to Coalville was flattering enough without them adding further goals which would have been extremely harsh on Chasetown.
Coalville Town: Bowles, Hutchinson, Lester, Jenno, McAteer (Miller, 86 mins), Kay, Woodward, Carney (Hempenstall, 59 mins), Nadat (King, 82 mins), Saunders, Miveld. Sub not used: Moore.
Chasetown: Price, Farmer, Keenan, Slater, Halsall, Teesdale, Brown, Bragoli, Smith (Wellecomme, 71 mins), Sullivan, Westwood (Butler, 78 mins). Subs not used: Robinson, Bannister, Watson.
Click below to see more of Dave Birt’s pictures from the game: