Leyton Orient grabbed a crucial late win against Sutton United on Saturday as they look to return to the Football League.
Orient are involved in a title battle along with Salford and Solihull Moors but looked set to lose ground as they trailed 1-0 to playoff-chasing Sutton.
But they equalised with 25 minutes remaining through Daniel Happe.
While a point would have been enough to see them go back ahead of Salford on goal difference, they desperately wanted all three points.
However, those hopes appeared to be dashed when midfielder James Dayton received a bizarre red card.
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Dayton had dislocated his ankle and was on the turf in agony being attended to by Orient’s physic.
After being told of his serious injury, Dayton threw his boot in frustration.
But it bounced towards referee Daniel Middleton, who subsequently showed him the red card as he was being stretchered off.
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After the match, Dayton came out and insisted that he didn’t mean to launch his boot towards the ref.
“I have come back from a long-term injury, felt I was playing well and was in a lot of pain and I had just been told I had dislocated my ankle and subsequently threw my boot in frustration,” Dayton said.
“In no way was it intended to be aimed at the referee – it wouldn’t have bounced three-to-four times if it was!”
Remarkably, Orient went on to win the match in incredible circumstances.
In the last minute, Sutton goalkeeper Ross Worner did a few keepie-uppies inside his own box before losing the ball and conceding a penalty.
Macauley Bonne stepped up and gave Orient a crucial 2-1 win to send them two points clear at the top of the table.
And Dayton was just happy that his freak sending off didn’t impact the result.
“Firstly I love these lads and I’m buzzing for them to go on and get three points. I would never do anything to put that in jeopardy."