Daniel Carter’s goal in the 93rd minute gave CGB Humbertherm a 1-0 victory at Park Avenue.
The last meeting between these sides was in August when Humbertherm won a thrilling encounter 5-4. This one was nowhere near as exciting and a goalless draw seemed inevitable until Carter struck right at the end.
Town had an early penalty appeal turned down when Dave Deane was bundled over by Dominic Hanton in the box.
Frazer Chapman then went on a long run only to be denied by an excellent save from Martin Lowth. Minutes later Ryan Johnson and Lance James both came close with headers from set plays.
Town kept up the pressure and Jake Marshall was denied by Lowth after being played in by Rocky Rawlings. Rawlings himself also forced Lowth into a save with a free kick.
Towards the end of the half Rawlings saw a thunderous strike deflected behind for a corner by Robin Beecroft. He took the resulting corner and it was headed narrowly over by Johnson.
Town had created chances in the first half and were unlucky not to have scored. However, they were unable to pick up where they left off after the interval and there was very little to speak of in first 30 minutes of the second half.
Stand in manager Peter Steele tried replacing Lance James and Matthew Buck for Danny Marshall and Liam Stainton in quick succession. They added energy to the attack and shortly afterwards Chapman curled a free kick inches over the top.
At the other end Jack Barley raced clear and squandered a good opportunity to score against the run of play.
In the 89th minute Town’s skipper Bradley Coulam limped off with a thigh injury. Things then went from bad to worse for Town as Humbertherm snatched their late winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
A corner came into the box and Town failed to clear their lines allowing Carter to fire into the top left corner. There was no time to reply and the final whistle was blown almost immediately afterwards.
This was a cruel way for Town to lose a match that they had been the better side in.
Peter Steele was not entirely satisfied. He said: “I thought we were naïve at times and unable to break down the Humbertherm defence.
“We forced play instead of just playing the quality football that we are capable of. Defensively we were strong and losing our captain and centre back just before the corner where we conceded the goal was the difference. We were punished for one mistake.
“We should have finished the game off in the first half. The lads know that we aren’t far off and we are looking forward to hosting Skegness Town next week.”
Town are next in action on Wednesday, March 25, at home to Skegness Town in the Lincs League (7:45 pm).
Town (4-4-2): Aldrich; J.Marshall, Stephens, B.Coulam (c) (Coddington 89), Johnson; Buck (D.Marshall 66), P.Coulam, Chapman, Rawlings; James (Stainton 76), Deane.