Nine-man Rye United made a heroic exit from the FA Vase away to Kings Lynn Town on Saturday.
The Quarterboys eventually went down 3-1 after extra-time away to the bookmakers’ second favourites for the national competition after having Shaun Loft sent-off in the 14th minute and Danny Ellis dismissed in the 82nd.
Yet Rye played the better football and created the better chances during normal time in front of 1,657 spectators. They will reflect on what might have been after Ellis hit the post and Danny Leach missed a one-on-one.
Rye took a 32nd minute lead through a sublime lob by Duncan McArthur before Steve Spriggs hauled Lynn level 13 minutes later. Substitute Robbie Harris won it for Lynn with goals in either half of extra-time.
Elsewhere, a brace of strikes from Terry Payne gave Sidley United a 2-1 victory at home to Wick in Division One of the Sussex County League. Wick also had a man sent-off during the first half.
Bexhill United maintained their promotion challenge in Division Two via a 3-0 win at home to Storrington. Scott McDonald, Andy Atkin and Kenny Pogue were the scorers.
In the same division, Westfield produced a terrific comeback from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 away to bottom club Steyning Town with the winner coming in the dying minutes.
Full reports on each of these matches, including comprehensive coverage of Rye’s game, will appear in Friday’s Observers.