Manager Mickey Stones couldn’t believe what he was seing as Horncastle Town’s 3-0 advantage turned into a 5-3 defeat.
The Wongers stormed into a 3-0 lead within 29 minutes at Nettleham on Saturday, only for five second-half goals to turn this Balcan Lighting Supplies Lincolnshire League contest on its head.
And there was even more drama to come as both sides ended the fixture with a man sent off.
“I couldn’t believe it happened. It seemed to happen so quickly I couldn’t even get myself mad enough to have a go at the lads about it in the changing room,” Stones told The News.
“It was a strange experience.”
Luke Blondel netted a brace and Jac Wright was also on target as Town found themselves in a commanding lead with 45 minutes to go.
However, injuries caught up with the Wongers.
“We can make some excuses,” Stones added.
“We’ve been really struggling with injuries and probably about seven of the lads who were out there were never really able to play 90 minutes.
“We had three or four on the bench who didn’t want to come on, really shouldn’t be playing.
“We knew we’d struggle late on so we wanted to start well and get a lead early doors.
“But the injuries caught up with us second half.”
Indeed they did as Jack Higginson scored all five of the Nettles’ goals to claim the points.
Veterans Nathan Rawdon (pictured) and Steve Lovett, both members of the Wongers’s management team, started the game but both had to be substituted by the 55th minute, and their experience was missed.
“We just collapsed after that. We needed their know-how,” said Stones, who still took time to praise his side’s first-half performance.
“The first half was brilliant. They did everything we wanted them to do.
“We’ve got the ability, there’s nothing wrong with that.
“I just think sometimes we lack a bit of fight, maybe we’re too nice coming from Horncastle.”
Horncastle substitute Glyn Powell saw red for dissent with 20 minuites to go, frustrated by a ‘leave it’ call he heard in the build-up to the Nettles’s leveller.
The hosts’s Jason Barratt was dismissed for a swipe off the ball moments later.
“They were both soft reds in my opinion,” said Stones.
“Glyn had only just come on, his hamstring strapped up.
“We don’t want to have players suspended, but we’re looking at it that he needs a break to get back to full fitness.”