Disappointed Chesterfield boss Paul Cook felt his side had created enough opportunities to beat Newport on Sunday.
The Spireites went down 3-2 but carved out a host of good chances during a game that was turned on its head when Liam Cooper was given his marching orders in the 75th minute with the scores level at one apiece.
Cook said: “It’s difficult in football because we didn’t do a lot wrong. We were bright, played off of the front foot and created good chances. Sometimes football can be cruel.”
Jimmy Ryan pulled Chesterfield level with his first league goal for the club after Danny Crow had put the hosts in to an early lead.
But, when Cooper was shown a straight red after a wrestling match with Conor Washington inside the area, Adam Chapman scored from the spot.
Andy Sandell got a third before Marc Richards reduced the arrears in injury time.
“When we equalise there is only one team that can go on and win that game. We were that much in the ascendancy. We had enough chances to win the game,” added Cook.
“We were beaten. The league shows that this is happening to every team quite regularly. We just do not seem to be making that last step at the minute, which is going back to the top of the league.”