Nigel Worthington’s York City returned from the long trek down to Bristol Rovers in League Two empty handed after losing a five-goal contest.
David McGurk (hamstring) was named a sub for York but Estonian midfielder Sander Puri was out with the same injury.
Two first-half goals from David Clarkson had the Minstermen struggling to get something from the game.
Ryan Jarvis gave the visitors a lifeline with a 41st minute goal, only to be then reduced to 10 men when Ryan Bowman was shown a red card.
And it was Jarvis who netted the equaliser in the 64th minute from the penalty spot to make it 2-2.
But parity was short lived as John-Joe O’Toole nudged Rovers back in front.