SCARBOROUGH Town suffered their first defeat of the season at top of the table Bransholme Athletic.
Town had been forced into a number of changes, with Darrol Lewis making his debut in goal and Jamie Patterson making a welcome return to the Town line-up.
Chris Nelson and Ben Luntley also made their first starts of the season.
Town began hesitantly on the unfamiliar 3G artificial pitch, and within two minutes Athletic’s Mike Carling had got on the end of a through ball to hit the ball sweetly into the net giving Lewis no chance.
Town replied with a Jamie Bradshaw header into the home keeper’s hands and the same player then netted but was adjudged to have handled.
A Luntley corner was met by a firm Barry Gill header to level the scores after 15 minutes, the third goal for Town’s centre-back already this season.
Town still looked uncomfortable and went behind on 19 minutes when Conrad Carter hit the post but Carling was on hand to tap in the rebound for his second of the afternoon.
Worse followed on 30 minutes when a long ball was only half cleared and Athletic defender Josh Verity clipped the ball neatly into the net.
Town midfielder Martyn Ferrey had been on the wrong end of some hefty challenges and his complaints warranted a yellow card from the referee.
When Ferrey continued his protests, Town boss Shaun Rennison had to make a swift substitution to remove Ferrey from the heat of the action.
His replacement was Rennison himself who slotted into the back four, allowing Patterson to move into midfield. Town now began to play with more assurance and started to control the game.
With half-time fast approaching, Sean Exley won a header which allowed Chris Nelson to hit a superb cross-shot which zipped into the net for 3-2.
And then a Kris Tate corner after 57 minutes saw Rennison leaping highest to head the equaliser.
Fifteen minutes from time Town finally went in front, a knock down finding Exley who remained calm and netted to put the visitors 4-3 ahead.
The topsy-turvy game took a decisive twist when Bransholme scored twice in a minute. On 76 minutes Verity ran clear to lift the ball over Lewis for an equaliser, and within seconds a right-wing cross saw Lee Shillito rising high to head home.
Tempers had been bubbling just below boiling point for some time, but with five minutes remaining Patterson retaliated after a foul and was shown the red card, his first dismissal in 73 Town appearances.
The action was still not complete, and with 88 minutes gone Exley was brutally flattened in the box to give Town a spot-kick.
Kris Tate hit the ball well but Willacy guessed correctly and pulled off a magnificent save.
Town had yet another chance for an equaliser when Rennison’s header grazed the post, but in the fourth minute of added time Carter broke away through a depleted Town defence to net the clincher with a fierce low shot.
Town: Lewis, Nock, Fryirs, Gill, Patterson, M.Ferrey (Rennison 35), Nelson, Tate, Exley, Luntley, Bradshaw (Hepples 66).