A mad five minutes in the second half proved costly for Cheltenham Town as they slipped to defeat at Leyton Orient on the opening day of the League Two season.
Josh Wright's opening goal was quickly followed by two red cards that saw Luke Varney and Rohan Ince dismissed, to hinder the Robins chances of earning something from their trip to last year's National League champions.
An emotional occasion was marked by tributes before the game to Orient's former manager, Justin Edinburgh, who tragically passed away during the summer after helping his former club claim their place back in the Football League.
When it came to the action on the pitch, Michael Duff handed four players their first appearances for the club, including new loan arrival Max Sheaf who lined up in midfield.
Ben Tozer's familiar long throws caused Orient problems from the start. Will Boyle got on the end of one launch into the box that Dean Brill had to get down low to save.
The home side's first big chance came through Jordan Maguire-Drew on 17 minutes. He cut inside and let fly with a powerful effort that went just over the bar.
Conor Wilkinson's header ten minutes before half time was easily gathered by Scott Flinders, who would see Lee Angol hammer a fine finish past him minutes later, only for it to be ruled out by the flag of the assistant referee.
After the break both teams struggled to create chances. Craig Clay's attempt failed to threaten the Robins goal and Angol's volley also drifted well wide.
The deadlock would be broken midway through the half though in what proved to be the start of a crazy five minute spell that would cost Cheltenham the game.
Wright slammed in from close range to put the home side in front, and a minute later saw Varney was given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card.
Two minutes later there was another Cheltenham player heading for the changing rooms, as Ince was dismissed, receiving a straight red card.
It could have got worse for the Robins were it not for a wonderful save from Flinders. He got down low to push Coulson's header from a corner onto the bar as Orient looked to make the most of their two man advantage.
And the stopper was at it again in the first minute of stoppage time, bravely blocking Angol's point-blank range effort to again deny the hosts, whose solitary goal proved to be the difference in east London.
LEYTON ORIENT: Brill (Sargeant 12), Ling, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Clay, Wilkinson (Alabi 83), Maguire-Drew (Dennis 90), Happe, Brophy, Angol, Wright
Subs not used: Gorman, Judd, Harrold, Sotiriou
CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders, Long, Tozer, Campbell (Reilly 67), Broom, Sheaf (Addai 75), Boyle, Debayo (Hussey 63), Ince, Varney, Raglan
Subs not used: Lovett, Clements, Thomas, Doyle-Hayes
ATTENDANCE: 6534 (367 Robins)
REFEREE: Michael Salisbury