Tadcaster Albion’s FA Cup dream was cut short at the third qualifying round stage on Saturday, despite a spirited display.
Their massive home game against Boston United ended in a 2-0 defeat at 2inspire Park.
Albion were tremendous in the first half, bossing possession and coming desperately close to scoring through two set pieces.
Unfortunately they weren’t able to convert their chances, and after the first half ended nil-nil, it was to cost them dear.
Two errors by ‘keeper Scott Pallister allowed Boston back in, firstly dropping the ball directly in front of striker Mark Jones, before hacking down Jones inside the box for a penalty converted by Marc Newsham.
Albion were unable to get back in the game, and Boston progressed comfortably through.
Boss Paul Marshall was philosophical in defeat.
“You need to score when you’re on top and we didn’t do that,” he said.
“We had two great chances to score and we didn’t take them. You have to take those chances when you’re in the ascendancy.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t score today.
“We had the better first half, but we certainly didn’t disgrace ourselves against a side who play three leagues above us.
“There was plenty we can be pleased with.”
Chairman Rob Northfield said: “I think if we had scored there would have been an opportunity to go on and win but I’m not disappointed.
“There is nothing to be disappointed about. I’m very proud of the team, I think we had the same amount of chances as Boston did overall and we were certainly the better side in the first half.
“Their goal meant they got their heads up and they came back into the game.”
Meanwhile HARROGATE TOWN progressed after a 3-2 win over Frickley.
A Paul Beesley double and Adam Boulder strike propelled Town in the final qualifying round.
In the NCEL First Division, KNARESBOROUGH TOWN beat leaders Albion Sports 1-0 at home.
HARROGATE RAILWAY lost 4-0 at home to Lancaster City.
After the floodwater drama of the previous seven days, Tadcaster Albion’s ground staff and a raft of helpers put in a heroic effort to actually get the game on against the Pilgrims.
Just over a week ago, 2inspire Park was six feet under the river Wharfe and the clubhouse flooded.
But the pitch was passed fit and Albion were ready to cause an upset against their Blue Square North visitors.
And for the first half, Tadcaster certainly looked the better side.
Boston seemed to struggle with the heavy pitch, and unable to get a foothold on proceedings.
Albion meanwhile were refusing to live up to their underdog billing.
They didn’t look like a side playing three divisions below the opposition, creating a host of scoring chances while their visitors were reduced to a few long-range shots.
Particularly impressive for Albion were midfielders Nathan Kamara and Chris Kamara, who put in a heroic shift and used their physicality well.
Centre half Matthew Sparkes was also a rock in defence and made sure United couldn’t find a way through.
Frustrated, Boston resorted to some overly-physical defending, which gifted Taddy a host of set piece opportunities.
Left back Steve Jeff went close with a free kick in the 15th minute, which breezed over the bar.
Chris Kamara was even closer a minute later with a long-range effort which also sailed over.
Just after the half-hour mark, Boston striker Newsham’s poor challenge on Stuart Rice gifted Albion a free kick just outside the 18 yard box.
A superb kick from Callum Ward just shaved the bar; had it been a centimetre lower, Albion would have been a goal ahead.
Another foul, this time by left back Gareth Jellyman on Ward handed set piece specialist Jeff another chance.
Delivered from the right of Dan Haystead’s goal, it swerved wickedly towards the net, but its speed meant striker Danny Gray was unable to meet it.
Nil-nil at half-time, Albion looked poised to capitalise on their pressure in the second stanza
But it wasn’t to be.
Boston came out all guns blazing after the restart, and two minutes later pounced on a mistake by Tad’ goalkeeper Scott Pallister to break the deadlock.
Under pressure from on-rushing United striker Mark Jones, Pallister dropped what had seemed a comfortable save.
The Boston man dived on the loose ball and fired into the net.
The visitors continued to boss possession and give Albion minimal time on the ball.
And in a day to forget to Pallister, he was instrumental in providing Boston with their second goal.
As Jones again surged into the box, Pallister plunged to the ground and brought down the striker.
The ‘keeper was only yellow-carded but referee Andrew Miller had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Marc Newsham stepped up and fired home the penalty to the delight of the travelling support.
After that, that was no way back for Taddy, who struggled to gain meaningful possession and were allowed minimal time on the ball.
Tadcaster Albion: Scott Pallister, Charlie Binns, Steve Jeff, Nathan Kamara, Matthew Sparkes, Ryan Qualter, Stuart Rice, Chris Kamara, Danny Gray, Callum Ward, Nick Thompson; Paul James, Josh Leader, Josh Bennett, Tom Owen.
Boston United: Dan Haystead, Gary Silk, Gareth Jellyman, Ben Milnes, Tom Ward, Nathan Stainforth, Ben Fairclough, Ian Ross, Mark Jones, Marc Newsham, Kallum Smith; Josh Stokes, Rick Drury, James Reed, Connor Marshall, Charlie Sanders, Jason Field, Joe French.