MONEYFIELDS crashed to a 3-1 defeat against Southern League east division leaders AFC Rushden & Diamonds in an incident packed affair at Dover Road.
Both teams had a player sent off in the first half.
The game was played out in front of Moneyfields’ record league crowd with 268 going through the gate.
That was encouraging for manager Dave Carter, though, he felt the game shouldn’t have gone ahead.
‘The conditions were horrendous and the game shouldn’t have been played,’ said the Moneys boss.
‘We can’t use that as an excuse.
‘It was always likely to be an explosive affair and so it proved.
‘When they took the lead it was against the run of play and we had a lot of possession.’
Diamonds went ahead after six minutes when the appropriately named Ben Diamond fired home after cutting into the area.
The underfoot conditions were treacherous.
And a slip by defender Sam Pearce led to Rushden extending their lead after 21 minutes.
On the half-hour it should have been three when the visitors were awarded a penalty.
Steve Mowthorpe, however, dived to his right to keep out the spot-kick and keep the home side in the hunt.
Before half-time Tyler Giddings and Rushden’s Luke Fairlamb both saw red cards.
Steve Hutchings reduced the deficit a minute into the second half heading in a cross from substitute Connor Bailey.
The hosts felt they should have had a penalty when striker Ryan Pennery was bundled over six yards out but were denied.
With the home side pushing for an equaliser Rushden counter-attacked on 71 minutes and were awarded a second penalty.
Though Mowthorpe again got his hands to the spot-kick he couldn’t keep it out.
Moneys boss Carter believes Rushden are destined to win the division.
He felt a point would have been a good result for his team but they couldn’t achieve it.
‘Rushden are without doubt on their way to the title,’ he added.
‘Anything from them would have been a bonus.
‘It is important for us to bounce back having slipped to eighth in the league.
‘We have a run of home games and need to pull our socks up.
‘If we are to achieve our ambitions of making the play-offs we have to start putting points on the board again.’