SMALL margins were Ramsbottom United’s downfall as they lost 2-1 at home to high-flying Hyde United.

A couple of crazy minutes before the break ultimately proved to be the difference between these two sides.

Josh McGreavy made his Rams debut in goal in place of the unavailable Sam Ashton.

The visitors took a fifth-minute lead through Elliott Rokka, who found space and drove a low shot past McGreavy into the far corner.

Parity was restored 10 minutes later, when some delightful inter-play between Jerome Wright and Luke Jordan saw the former jink his way into the area and blast home the equaliser, his second goal in two games after Wright had hit the only goal of Saturday’s win against Clitheroe.

Dean Stott tried his luck from distance and Harry Foulds’ chance was smothered by Hyde keeper Peter Crook.

Just as the half looked like ending all square, disaster struck for the Rams when Wright received a second yellow card within a matter of minutes.

Within seconds the referee further annoyed the home fans when he gave a penalty for a push on Tyrone Gay, and Max Leonard converted from the spot.

It was cruel on the hosts who had matched Hyde throughout the half but the visitors almost increased their lead minutes into the second half when Miller crashed a shot against the bar.

Regan Jarrett saw his deflected shot safely gathered by Crook as the 10 men tried to get a foothold in the game.

The depleted Rams were giving as good as they got with chances being created at both ends, the Tigers’ Gay frustrating the Rams with a sterling performance at the back.

At the other end, speculative efforts from Rokka and Jordan sailed wide and the hosts’ late pressure was to no avail.

Though defeated, the Rams had put in an inspiring performance against the team in second.

Manager Mark Fell said: “I feel a bit flat after the dust has settled, we deserved something – absolutely no doubt about it, the lads were great and ran their legs off for the club. We’ve played with 10 men for 50 minutes and you wouldn’t tell if you walked in at half time.

“At 1-1 it’s a great game of football – suddenly the sending off changes it. The official was throwing cards out from minute one and someone was going to go, but from our most experienced player it’s very silly and it’s cost us.”