Stevenage held on for a 2-1 win at Crewe in a game which saw visiting goalkeeper Jamie Jones and Alex striker Chris Dagnall sent off.
Jones and Dagnall were dismissed after an unseemly first-half tussle. Dagnall chased a through ball but caught Jones, with both players ending up sprawled in combat on the edge of the box.
Dagnall was shown two yellow cards by referee Darren England, while the injured Jones was issued a straight red and carried off on a stretcher.
Matt Godden had given Stevenage an early lead. The striker latched onto a short throw-in and after his first effort was blocked by George Ray he volleyed neatly into the far corner in the seventh minute.
But Crewe - who could boast back-to-back home wins and a point on their travels from their last three outings - demonstrated their improvement under new boss Dave Artell as they piled on the pressure.
Jordan Bowery drove wide and defender Ben Nugent failed to get a close-range effort on target, instead helping the ball out of the Stevenage box. Jon Guthrie then volleyed wide after Callum Cooke's blast was blocked.
The game erupted between Dagnall and Jones in the 25th minute, with veteran keeper Chris Day coming off the bench to go between the posts for Boro.
Stevenage were undeterred as they doubled their lead in the 36th minute when defender Fraser Franks headed home after Luke Wilkinson had nodded the ball back across the box.
James Jones halved the deficit when he fired home from the spot in the 71st minute after Wilkinson tripped George Cooper but Stevenage held on for an eighth league success on their travels.