Harrogate Town’s hopes of a cup run in the FA Trophy were ended on Saturday thanks to a 2-0 defeat at Gainsborough Trinity.
Meantime Town’s Blue Square North contest at home to Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday has been postponed until further notice.
Bishop’s were meant to be in FA Trophy action against Oxford City at the weekend but that match was postponed and takes precedence this Tuesday instead.
Town will be grateful for this turn of events as they continue preparations for Saturday’s massive FA Cup second round hosting of Hastings United.
More work has been undertaken on the Wetherby Road pitch to make sure it’s ready for the encounter.
Chairman Irving Weaver revealed on the Town website last week that the club have invested in a pitch protector, in attempt to keep the grass as dry as possible before kick-off.
The heavy rain of last week left standing water on the pitch, with the top layer unable to drain properly despite verti-draining the surface last week.
It’s hoped there will be a dry spell to allow the cover to do its job before kick-off.
Back in Gainsborough, Town went close to opening their account when Adam Bolder set up Dave Merris. His low drive was fumbled by ‘keeper Jan Budtz, but the goalie made no mistake with Adam Nowakowski’s rebound shot.
Town went a goal behind when Matt Bloomer was deemed to have pulled down Darren Stamp, Terry Hawkridge firing home from the spot past Craig MacGillivray to put the hosts 1-0 ahead.
Town finished the half on the attack with Merris going close and Bolder free kick rebounding off the upright.
Chib Chilaka set up skipper Paul Bolland for a lob but Town were hit for six when Alan White was sent off after an alleged headbutt on Phil Stamp.
Gainsborough then lost Josh Wilde to a red card after a second bookable offence, this time having brought down Chilaka.
Town pushed and pushed to no avail, and Gainsborough had the final word when Paul Conner broke clear to fire in their second of the afternoon.
Elsewhere, Billy Miller’s HARROGATE RAILWAY earned an Evo Stik First Division North point from their 1-1 draw at home to Wakefield.
Nathan Turner’s 86th minute goal secured the draw after Wakefield went ahead just after half-time.
In the NCEL First Division, KNARESBOROUGH TOWN beat Grimsby Borough 4-1 at home. A Steve Bromley brace plus strikes by Dave Thomas and Danny Wright handed Boro the points.