Alfreton Town were left waiting for their first goal and first points of the season as Brackley Town notched up a sixth consecutive win over the Reds on Saturday.
A first half of little action from either side remained goal-less, but a fabulous strike by Matt Lowe just three minutes after the break from all of 35 yards was to be the solitary goal of the game.
The encounter took an age to uncoil, but there were a handful of chances in the opening session, with both Matt Rhead and Shaun Tuton going reasonably close with headers before Adam Lund had to block from Wes York on 22 minutes.
Louis Lomas was forced to head clear an awkward Bobby Johnson corner and Tom Allan was obliged to concede a corner under pressure from York, but an incident five minutes before the break was to have repercussions for Brackley later in the game.
Tempers flared as Tawariq Yusuf fouled Reds' keeper George Willis in a race for the ball, and despite vehement protests from manager Kevin Wilkin and his bench the yellow card was held aloft - then on 58 minutes Yusuf petulantly hurled the ball into the ground in front of the referee and automatically received his second caution, which equated to a red card.
Despite their numerical disadvantage Brackley held on comfortably for their slender win, with wayward efforts from Allan and Rob Evans their only concern.
Alfreton's best chance of the game came just three minutes after going behind and from a similar distance, when Johnson hammered a free-kick which needed tipping over by Saints' keeper Danny Lewis.
With the Reds having proudly paraded their new Red & Black kit for the game, the outcome was a disappointing anti-climax, and they now face a difficult trip to Darlington next Saturday [supporters' coach leaves the ground at 0900] before hosting Chorley on Bank Holiday Monday.
ALFRETON: Willis; Clackstone, Wilde, Lund [Hobson 71], Smith, Allan,
Tuton [Molyneux 59], Evans, Rhead, Johnson, Southwell.
other subs: Stewart, Wiley, Smith-Eccles.
BRACKLEY: Lewis; Myles [Liburd 90+4], York, Presser, Lomas, Dean,
Lowe, Murombedzi, Ndlovu, Yusuf, Walker.
other subs: Rolt, Armson, Mittford, Franklin.
Referee: Mr. M. Crusham