BOTH Pinchbeck United and Cowbit saw their county cup dreams shattered in heart-breaking semi-finals over the weekend.
Lincs Junior Cup hopefuls Pinchbeck were beaten 1-0 at No1 Pub Saturday, before Cowbit blew a 3-0 lead against FVA Jerusalem en-route to a 4-2 penalty shoot-out loss 24 hours later.
It was a particularly gutting weekend for defenders Bobby Patterson and Liam Harrison, who played in both games.
Pinchbeck assistant boss Steve Barnes said: “I’m devastated, we just didn’t turn up and I think the size of the occasion got to the lads, I really do.
“We missed two great chances to settle ourselves down, then conceded a sloppy goal. From then on we huffed and puffed, but it wasn’t to be.”
Mark Lovelace and Jamie Cartlidge both missed glorious chances for Pinchbeck at Humberston, before a scrambled first-half strike saw them dumped out – 50 years after their last success in the competition.
The real drama come on Sunday though, as goals from Harrison, Tom Panton and Joe Townsend had Cowbit cruising towards the final at 3-0.
However, a red card for left back Ian Christine led to Jerusalem’s resurrection. Three set-piece goals in the last 20 minutes made it 3-3 and forced penalties, with Steve Sinfield and Townsend seeing their efforts saved.
A shell-shocked Patterson said: “I haven’t had many worse weekends in football! It’s a shame we didn’t play to our potential on Saturday, we just got bullied a bit.
“Sunday was a different story, we’ll never have a better chance of getting to a county final. The red card didn’t help, we had the wind against us and just couldn’t handle it.”
Both sides still have much to play for this season though. Cowbit are chasing a Spalding Sunday League treble, while a defeat for Uppingham Town on Saturday leaves Pinchbeck in the box seat for the Peterborough and District Premier Division title.