Mablethorpe Athletic were beaten by Holton Le Clay in the Challenge Cup semi-final in a very close match which could have gone either way.
Danny Marshall opened the scoring for Mablethorpe before goals either side of half-time by Ben Browne and Jake O’Callaghan gave Holton a 2-1 victory.
Early on Mablethorpe had a goal wrongly disallowed when Alex Carter found the net but was adjudged offside with only debutant Declan Farrow standing in an offside position. Marshall also had a goal ruled out, again for offside.
Minutes later Holton’s Joe Mitchell was denied by an excellent save from Marcus Mackay before Mitchell and O’Callaghan again went close for the visitors.
At the other end, Holton skipper Kyle Skipworth made a fantastic goal-line clearance to block Paul Mail’s shot, but near half-time Marshall broke the deadlock when he latched onto Adam Brownson’s through ball to chip the onrushing Iain Tilmouth.
But Ben Browne equalised direct from a corner on the stroke of half-time.
And just three minutes into the second half O’Callaghan raced clear and slotted home to give Holton the lead.
Midway through the second half Mackay made a brilliant double save to keep out Louie Schofield’s shot and his rebound.
With time running out, both sides struck the post in quick succession, Brownson unlucky to clip the outside of the left upright before Mitchell’s effort came back off the right post.
In the last few minutes Mitch Whiley headed just over from Farrow’s corner, but Mablethorpe couldn’t find an equalizer as Holton hung on.
Mick Stubbs was pleased with the performance.
“The lads gave their all and we were very unlucky not to reach the final,” he said.
“Goals change the direction of a game and Alex Carter’s early goal should have stood. If it had it would have been a different game from that point on.
“We have played good football in our last few games, but luck hasn’t been on our side. There wasn’t much between us and them apart from good fortune.
“Sadly, we have gone through a run of games where we deserved something and got nothing. We need to keep our chins up and maybe lady luck will even things out.”
Mablethorpe (4-5-1): Mackay; Thomas, Carter (c), J. Marshall, J. Brownson; A. Brownson, Whiley, Quinn (Bebbington 57), Farrow, Mail; D. Marshall.
* On Saturday, Mablethorpe host AFC Louth in the East Lincs Combination (kick-off 2pm).