Ten-man Broadbridge Heath exited the Peter Bentley Cup at the third-round stage to division-lower Lingfield on Tuesday night.
Nicky Dembele’s second-half goal decided the tie as the home side won through with a 1-0 sucess after Shaun Findlay had controversially been sent off.
Heath, playing their 19th game of the season, were missing players through injury and suspension, with others playing with knocks.
Lingfield came into the game on a run of six straight wins that have seen them move up to 4th in their division – and they dominated play in the first half but failed to beat an inspired Michael Chester.
Dembele fired wide early on, before Devon Fender’s first-time shot across the face of goal saw Alex Parsons inches away from converting at the far post. Midway through the half, a double save denied Jack Horn, while 15 minutes before the break Wetton’s strike was deflected off a post as the Bears clung on.
Minutes before the break, George Cousins’ first-time shot was saved brilliantly on the line by the Lingfield keeper to deny Heath an undeserved lead.
Heath started the second half well but were dealt a blow in the 53rd minute when Findlay was shown a straight red card as the referee considered his attempt to recover a loose ball as dangerous play – despite no other players being involved.
The Bears stepped up their game, had more possession and created the better chances, but 20 minutes from time Tim Martin appeared to win a header, but the referee spotted something nobody else had seen and awarded Lingfield a free-kick.
Heath were still arguing when the ball was played out to Dembele, who unleashed a powerful right foot shot from 20 yards that flew past Chester.
In the closing stages, Fender picked out an unmarked Cousins, but the Heath striker snatched at the chance and put it over.
Heath: M.Chester, Morrone-Beckingham, Robinson, Sim, Flack, Findlay, Helsdown (Weller 80), Parsons, Fender, Cousins, Martin.