North Notts were beaten 5-2 by Shrewsbury after a controversial decision in the last 10 minutes prove decisive in their downfall.
The game turned after William Butler was dismissed for dissent late in the second half leading to a collapse from the home team.
After the match boss Jay Faulkner said: “Credit to our opponents today who played very well and took the opportunity to finish us off in the last 10 minutes when things seemed to conspire against us,
“We’re bitterly disappointed with certain aspects of the game, but these things are out of our hands.
“We finish the first half of the season next week away at Sikh Union who are top of the table so we will have a point to prove.”
With the game delayed 25 minutes due to a frost patch on the pitch Notts seemed sluggish in the early exchanges which saw a Shrewsbury penalty corner well saved from Unwin after some desperate Notts Defending.
Shrewsbury however could not be halted and on eight minutes another rash challenge from Notts saw a penalty corner awarded, the drag flick beating Unwin to put the away side down 1-0.
Notts were still visibly shaken from their poor start and again conceded a penalty corner on 10 minutes for a reckless stick tackle, which they were able to defend.
Notts first real clear cut chance fell to William Butler, back in the team after a knee injury, who rounded the keeper easily but fired the ball wide.
Notts now had the momentum and a surging run by Allen Butler in the 18th minute combined with some great stick work won Notts their first short corner. A slick routine was easily dispatched by Butler to level the scores.
Notts started the second half in the sdominant form and a great ball from Jarvis early on found Will Butler who was unable to get his shot away.
A minute later William Butler fired his strike inches wide from a corner.
Notts then were subjected to a sustained period of pressure from Shrewsbury who, like Notts were becoming frustrated with the quality of decisions coming from the officials.
Notts pressure finally came off 18 minutes into the second half when a great break from the Notts defence and a good ball from Allen Butler found Will Butler who slotted home to give Notts a 2-1 lead.
Warning bells began to ring when the umpires needed a long discussion over the legitimacy of the goal due to a decision that happened way back in the Notts defence some 45 seconds before Notts scored.
There was controversy again for Notts with 10 minutes remaining when one of the officials seemingly lost control of the game and, after warning both captains about the appealing of decisions and issuing them with a green card each, then dismissed William Butler for a flippant comment.
The card seemed harsh as both teams had been guilty of chatter to the umpire with no previous punishments.
To make matters worse Notts had to then face a penalty corner which again was awarded controversially. Shrewsbury made no mistake and levelled the scores at 2-2.
Notts were completely shellshocked at losing both a player and a goal all within one minute and, to make matters worse, the umpire increased Butler’s suspension to 10 minutes after continuing to argue with him.
Shrewsbury sensed Notts were there for the taking and made no mistake in killing off the home side with goals on 65, 66 and 69 minutes to leave the home side shell shocked and licking their wounds.