Sin-bin offences cost Chesterfield dear as they twice threw away a two-goal lead to draw 4-4 in their third match of the Midland Men’s Hockey League, Second Division season.
Seeking their first win of the campaign, newly-promoted Chesterfield looked in control at 3-1 and 4-2 up at home to Khalsa Leamington 2nd, only to have players dismissed at crucial times, disrupting their rhythm.
Captain Josh Brocklehurst, vice-captain Dan Molloy and player/coach Christian Battye were all binned for needless dissent towards the match officials.
A sheepish Battye confessed: “The senior lads let the rest of the lads down. We let silly things get the better of us.
“No matter how much you disagree with decisions, you have to keep quiet and carry on playing. There was no-one to blame but ourselves.”
Chesterfield went ahead when an unmarked Josh Helsby brilliantly steered the ball home from a clever pass by Joe Morton.
Ben Northedge equalised for Khalsa against his former club before the hosts asserted in the second half, inspired by man-of-the-match Tom Bacon.
Goals from livewire Johnny Hancock, Jack Hartley and Molloy appeared to kill the game off before the late implosion that enabled Khalsa to snatch an unlikely point.