Brigg Town CIC Reserves fell to their third straight Lincolnshire League defeat as they let a lead slip against Lincoln Moorland Railway on Saturday.
The 3-1 defeat completed a testing run of fixtures against the league’s top three sides, which left the Zebras sitting in ninth place.
Brigg made the perfect start when Michael Jaksics put them ahead after just nine minutes.
But Robert Smith levelled after 20 minutes and Brigg were down to 10 men a minute before half-time when Matthew Davies was shown a straight red card.
Smith finally ut the visitors ahead 20 minutes into the second half and then completed his hat-trick with 13 minutes left to wrap up the points for the defending champions.
On Saturday, Brigg head to 10th-placed Immingham Town for a 2pm kick-off.