NEWLANDS Park’s North Riding FA Sunday Challenge Cup dreams evaporated last night as they slipped to a battling defeat at Stokesley.
After Newlands took a first-half lead, opponents Hollybush United bagged two in the second half and hung on to lift the silverware.
It was a frustrating night for boss Joe Hakings and his players, many of whom had turned out in a Saturday cup final against Eastfield just 24 hours earlier.
Hakings said: “It hasn’t been easy for a lot of the lads because many of them played a final the day before, I think that took its toll.
“We didn’t do badly though, we had the chances, but we just didn’t defend the two crosses very well and they took advantage.
“Hollybush weren’t a bad side, but they were definitely there for the taking at the back. They did look a little sluggish at times.
“It is very disappointing for us to lose, but I am very proud of the lads, to get this far is a great achievement.”
Newlands started the game in lively fashion, with striker Eric Hall seeing his snap-shot saved after neat approach play by Jamie Gallagher.
Wing-man Gallagher then caused further problems for the Redcar side’s defence, as his volley was deflected just wide of the target.
Hollybush began to feel their way into the game after this, with their lively attack giving the Newlands back-line a thing or two to think about.
It was the Hollybush defence that cracked though just a minute before the interval, as Mark Swales fought his way through and slotted clinically into the bottom corner.
Both sides had chances as the new half began, with David Hitchen heading just wide for Hollybush and Swales fluffing his lines when well-placed for Newlands.
It was Hollybush who broke through for a second time with the new half 10 minutes old.
A scramble broke out in the Newlands area after George Elliot’s save and Dom Tokarski rose highest to nod home the leveller.
A flurry of Hollybush chances followed, and they finally added their second just after the hour.
Defender Jon Berry met a far-post corner, with his header giving keeper Elliot no chance.
Newlands began to wake from their slumber as the minutes ticked away, and they were desperately unlucky not to force a penalty shoot-out.
Striker Ben Luntley whipped in from the right, but Hall couldn’t force the ball through a sea of bodies from three yards.
Then Luntley burst through on goal, but he drilled his effort straight at the keeper.
Tempers flared in the dying embers, with a bout of handbags breaking out. This harshly resulted in Hollybush’s Ryan Thompson and Newlands’ Jason Harrison, who had only been on the pitch for five minutes, being awarded a red card.
Newlands: Elliot, Manson, Josh Hakings, Mintoft, Fields, Jack Hakings, Wilson (Harrison 87), Swales (Bates 69), Gallagher (Thomas 77), Luntley, Hall.