Harrogate Railway manager Ray Green says he was left “devastated” for his players after Saturday’s 8-1 thrashing by Hemsworth Miners Welfare.
The Railwaymen went in front early on and the game was tied at 1-1 when goalkeeper Leon Wrigglesworth was sent off for handling the ball outside his area.
The gloveman’s dismissal proved pivotal as the hosts immediately took the lead before smashing six unaswered goals past rookie stopper James Webster in the second half.
“It was looking really positive until Leon’s red card. We were on top, we looked a threat and we had some momentum,” Green reflected.
“As soon as he went off the game changed and I’m devastated for the players that they’ve ended up on the end of a result like that.
“James Webster’s only 18 and had come with us to get a bit of experience on the bench and he’s had to go on and the first thing he’s done is pick the ball out of the back of his net.
“We got pummelled in the second half and collapsed. We conceded three goals in quick succession and that just killed it for us.
“The lads will bounce back because they’re a young team, and they’ll learn from this experience, but it was tough for them.”
The Rail had taken a ninth-minute lead when Steve Bromley finished with an audacious touch from a Lewis Riley cross.
Riley missed a good chance to put his side 2-0 up before the visitors gifted Nash Connolly an equaliser on 26 minutes.
Wrigglesworth then received his marching orders and Rich Collier put the resulting free-kick past Webster.
There were no more goals before the break, but Connolly notched his second of the afternoon eight minutes after the resumption and his strike sparked a succession of goals that ended the game as a contest.
Green’s men return to action on Wednesday evening when they travel to Staveley Miners Welfare, 7.45pm kick-off.