Ten-man Kettering Town endured a disappointing start to their Calor League Division One Central campaign as they went down 2-0 at Potters Bar Town.
Having signed for the club again in the week leading up to the start of the season, Lewis Wilson partnered Jake Newman in attack for the Poppies while Brad Piercewright was named as captain.
But Kettering suffered a bad start and found themselves a goal down inside two minutes when James Gershfield ran on to a long clearance and shot past Michael Quirke.
Lewis Wilson had the Poppies’ first chance when he missed his kick when well placed in the area while Louis Hamilton headed from an Andy Gooding corner.
Danny Millard shot over at the other end but Kettering’s task got even hard five minutes before half-time when Gooding was shown a straight red card for a two-footed lunge on Chris Doyle.
Thomas threw on Ashley and David Deeney in place of Nathan Fox and Hamilton at half-time and Kettering performed better without ever really threatening.
Their third substitute Jermaine Clarke saw a shot deflected for a corner but Potters Bar added a second goal when Dean Green’s shot went in under Quirke.
The Poppies responded with Jake Newman seeing a shot saved before Clarke somehow hit the bar instead of the net from eight yards.
Poppies line-up: Quirke; Thorpe, Logan, Piercewright, Kinniburgh; Hamilton, Emery, Gooding, Fox; Newman, Wilson. Subs: Foster, Joseph, A Deeney, D Deeney, Clarke.
Goals: Gershfield (2 mins, 1-0), Green (83 mins, 2-0).