BRIGHOUSE TOWN gave far too much respect to Northumbrian opponents Morpeth as they were beaten 2-1 on Tuesday evening.
They trailed 2-0 at the break before hitting back and almost managing to come away with a draw.
They went on to have a lot more of the second half and pulled a goal back through leading goalscorer Aaron Martin on 57 minutes.
He then failed to prod home an equaliser 10 minutes later after a first touch let him down and home keeper Dan Lowson snuffed out the chance.
Town were 1-0 down after just three minutes when a jittery defence failed to clear t in the penalty box and the home forward Liam Henderson slotted it past Jordan Porter.
Town did sweep back down field in response through Rhys Jenkinson, Marley Grant and Ousman Cham to force a corner. From the corner Martin headed wide.
At the other end Porter pulled off a good save from David Carson as Morpeth Town took the game to their visitors.
They were finding their men and stretched Town with their back three controlling any sporadic attacks.
After 22 minutes manager Vill Powell changed his formation and brought off Grant, put Tom Robinson out wide and put substitute Gabriel Johnson alongside his strike partner of last term, Martin.
Two minutes later, from a free kick, Iulian Petrache tested Porter but he was not to beaten and the danger was averted.
Town were still not getting the better of the EBAC Northern Division One 2017-18 champions, before on loan Guiseley midfielder Jack Lazenby was injured in the 43rd minute.
He received treatment for an ankle injury from physio Harry Gee for over two minutes before leaving the field.
When play resumed Town were down to 10 men as substitute Jordan Eli had not come on.
And Morpeth made use of the extra man as Town went 2-0 down.
Once more a ball wasn’t cleared in the box which then just averted Porter and rolled against a post and over the line from the boot of Joe Walton.
The Brighouse players after their hairdryer treatment from the manager came out with much more purpose and started to show the home side that they weren’t out of it.
Fifteen minutes in and the manager brought on teenage prospect Finn Donovan for Robinson and within two minutes they had pulled a goal back.
Following a free kick James Hurtley sent in Martin, who had been booked a minute earlier, on goal and he easily beat Lowson.
In the 67th minute, Town looked as though they would go level as Johnson beat two defenders with pace and skill and then put the ball across the six yard box for Martin who should have hit it first time with his left foot, but the predator opted for a first touch and Lowson just got down on the ball to save his side.
The game was now becoming aggressive and Henderson was booked for a reckless tackle on Adam Field and within minutes Town’s Iwan Heeley was in the book for a similar tackle on Morpeth’s best player Petrache.
Town were going all out for the equaliser and feeling some frustration at the Teeside official’s decisions and at the end of the day it was not to be as they lost Martin to a second yellow card on 90 minutes.
Powell commented after the game: “We showed them (Morpeth) far too much respect in that first half and our level of intensity was not there.
“The second half was what it is all about, keeping tight to players, playing with intensity and keeping possession.
“I feel with more quality in the final third we could have something out of this game.
“Morpeth are a good footballing side but so are we and you cannot give a side respect or they take advantage.”
Town’s night went from bad to worse when an overturned lorry on the motorway meant they didn’t get home until the middle of the night.
Brighouse Town: Porter, Jenkinson, Wright, Heeley, Hurtley, Field, Grant (Johnson), Lazenby (Eli), Martin, Robinson (Donovan), Cham. Unused subs: Dennison, Smith.
Referee: Mr Graeme Hopper