It was one game too far for Thurlby United in the Lincolnshire FA Sunday Cup final on Sunday who went down 5-0 to Pinchbeck United at the Sincil Bank stadium in Lincoln.
Beating Pinchbeck was always going to be an incredibly tough ask for Thurlby as their cup final opponents had already picked up two trophies this season and have a 100 per cent league record.
Pinchbeck skipper Josh Ford led by example with a hat-trick as they became the first-ever Spalding Sunday League side to win the county cup.
Tommy Treacher’s lucky effort gave Pinchbeck the lead. He found a way past Thurlby keeper Darran Wesley in the 26th minute when a left-wing cross went into the net off the base of the far post.
Then Thurlby United’s hopes were effectively ended during a one-minute spell two minutes before the half-time break.
First Ford raced clear and cleverly clipped the ball over Wesley. Then almost immediately it was 3-0 as Cartwright fed Ford in the penalty box and the striker converted again via the far post.
Instead of having hope of a comeback, Thurlby saw their dreams quickly fade away.
To their credit they kept battling away – even though the only save made by Ricky Drury came as Fraser Sturgess’ header flicked off Pinchbeck defender Luke Wilson towards the bottom corner.
Player-manager Steve Mastin and striker Scott Spearink were off target in the second half but Thurlby must have known there was no way back.
Pinchbeck made it 4-0 on 72 minutes when Ford turned and fired home from the edge of the penalty area to complete his treble.
Another attempt by Ford was parried wide but soon afterwards Andy Law – who had only been on the pitch for five minutes – fired the fifth Pinchbeck goal.
It was a disappointing end to a remarkable run for Thurlby.
The village side only formed in 2005, playing in the Grantham League until 2012, when they joined the Peterborough Sunday Morning Football League,
They are currently in Division One.
Thurlby beat Lions FC 7-3 in the first round of the cup, before winning 9-3 against Witham Wanders, 3-1 against CBG Humberthern Titans and then 2-1 against Empire United.
In the quarter-finals they beat Scothern United 3-0 in the quarter-final and then won the semi-final against Fender BCS 5-4.
Pinchbeck United: Drury; Wilson, Stevens, Fairweather, A Jackson; Murrell (sub Law 74 mins), Millson, Pinner (sub Patterson 67 mins), Cartwright; Treacher, Ford (sub Barnes 79 mins). Subs not used: N Jackson, Gardner.
Thurlby United: Wesley; Parkin, Flood, Smith, Sturgess (sub Ablewhite 88 mins); Jackson, Collins; Goldson-Williams, Mastin (sub Hudson 86 mins), Younghusband (sub Hobbs 54 mins); Spearink. Subs not used: Main, Twaite.
Referee: Will Murray.