Playing for the majority of an evenly matched against a 14 man Down team, Westmeath senior footballers experienced their first competitive loss under new management in this Allianz National League Division 3 encounter.
The journey north to Esler Park proved a fruitless experience as a brace of points which appeared to be very much a possibility when the home team had Pat Havern dismissed in the first moiety slipped from the Lake County's grasp.
Despite dominating proceedings following the dismissal, Westmeath failed to etch their superiority on the scoreboard but did enjoy a minimum lead at the interval.
Jack Cooney's charges did stretch their lead out to two points, courtesy of Luke Loughlin, midway through the second half, but a late scoring rally from the Mourne men saw them eke out the victory when it seemed a draw game was imminent.
Despite this loss, Westmeath are still in contention for promotion with three points garnered from a similar amount of games played. League leaders Longford have five points with, the Lake County's next opponents, Laois, due to visiit TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar on Sunday week for a pre-championship rehearsal fixture.
A return to winning ways on that occasion will raises squad spirits once again and renew promotion aspirations as the league season reaches the halfway stage.