A goal conceded two minutes into time added on was more than Bridlington Town deserved as they had battled gamely for 50 minutes with only 10 men.
Ash Allanson was sent off for a second bookable offence just a minute after the visitors had taken a 2-1 lead.
There wasn’t much between the two sides in the opening exchanges as Chris Adams fired the first attempt on goal way too high.
Town were forced into a change after 12 minutes when Alex Knaggs pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and Shaun Day came on to deputise. Knaggs had won the ball in a tackle and played it to Birch on the edge of the area but his low effort went straight to keeper Ben Gathercole.
In the 15th minute, the visitors got their noses in front when the home defence failed to clear a ball in from the left and Matt Thornhill headed in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Shane Kelsey got to a through ball ahead of James Hitchcock and when the goalkeeper challenged Kelsey went down but was deemed to have slipped.
Town strived for an equaliser and it came on the half-hour when Allanson’s forward pass found Ombeni Ruhanduka in the penalty area and he finished with a shot across Gathercole into the corner of the net.
Two minutes on and a foul on Collishaw went unpunished then as Thornhill collected the ball he was fouled by Allanson who was cautioned. Kelsey followed him into the book for dissent but it was no surprise as he had been whinging at his teammates and the officials the whole time.
Six minutes before half-time Shaw Lane’s appeals for a foul on the edge of the Town penalty area were turned down but the ball was played inside for Thornhill to score his second of the game with a low strike from 20 yards.
A minute later Allanson received his marching orders for kicking the ball away after a free kick decision had been given against the Seasiders.
Another foul went unpunished when Ruhanduka was clipped from behind and then he was booked for a foul on Shaw Lane captain Anton Foster and just before the break Fleming was booked for fouling O’Brien.
Jarrod Smalley came on for Tyler Collishaw for the second half as the Seasiders set about trying to get a second equaliser but Shaw Lane played the ball around as they made the extra man count and Hitchcock had to be at his best to take the ball off Kelsey. The goalkeeper then denied Thornhill as he dived to his left to palm away a 25 yard free kick.
Town almost got back on level terms when Smalley nicked the ball away from O’Brien on the byline only to see his low cross elude Ruhanduka.
With 90 minutes up another foul on O’Brien earned Birch a booking and right at the death, substitute Grant Darley intercepted a Ryan Nicholls clearance and beat Hitchcock with a low shot.