Plymouth boss John Sheridan refused to blame his side's 4-0 defeat to York on Neal Trotman's 11th-minute dismissal.
Defender John McCombe scored at the end of each half, his two goals sandwiched between a Wes Fletcher penalty and Josh Carson's late screamer, as the Minstermen made light work of their hosts, who played for most of the match with 10 men following Trotman's 11th-minute sending-off.
"I'm not making excuses," said Sheridan.
"The sending-off made things tough, but I don't want to be beaten 4-0, even if it's with 10 men. We did look all over the place in the last 10 minutes.
"It's a shame because we've been on a good run of late. I told the lads that they all worked their socks off but it's not just about running around, it's about having a knowledge of the game."
The home side initially did well despite their numerical disadvantage with captain Conor Hourihane shooting just wide and Jason Banton bringing a good save out of goalkeeper Nick Pope
Their hopes of a second-half revival were dashed in first-half injury-time, though, when Bowman teed up McCombe to glance a header home from close range.
After Hourihane forced another save from Pope in the opening minutes of the second half, York made the most of their man advantage to dominate the match.
Only fine saves by Jake Cole prevented Will Hayhurst or Michael Coulson from making it three before McCombe did just that as he stabbed home his second following a corner.
Carson rounded off the comprehensive victory a minute later with a magnificent long-range strike that inflicted a worst defeat of the season on sorry Plymouth.
Sheridan added: "It hurts because we know what we're trying to do and achieve so we've just got to bounce back. We won't hide."