LEDBURY Town were denied a Herefordshire FA Challenge Cup final place by rivals Westfields at New Street in mid-week.
The Midland Alliance visitors and cup-holders outpaced the hosts, winning 2-1 as the game turned into a scrappy affair towards the end.
Tempers flared at times as six Ledbury players were shown yellow cards and Town could not replicate the memorable 3-0 victory over Fields three seasons ago in the final at Edgar Street.
Craig Jones fired the Hereford side ahead on eight minutes, but Tom Boyle was denied a quick equaliser by Matt Gwynne’s fine save.
Dene Whittal-Williams headed Fields further ahead on 63 minutes, but Jamie Welch quickly responded by opening Ledbury’s account.
They could not score again, however.
Town had overcome Ross Juniors and Bromyard Town at home with solid 3-0 victories to reach the last four.
Ledbury fell to fourth from bottom in West Midlands League Division One after an unfortunate 3-1 defeat at Shenstone Pathfinders in Staffordshire last weekend.
But just five points separate Ledbury from Gornal Athletic Reserves in seventh spot, so victory at Shrewsbury’s Hanwood United tomorrow (3pm) could catapult them up the table.
Welch fired his side’s only goal at Shenstone with a chip, while the home keeper had to pull off a number of superb saves to keep the visitors at bay.
Meanwhile, Ledbury reserves have a second chance at re-entering the Herefordshire League Division One top three following a disappointing 3-2 defeat against lowly Wellington Colts.
Ledbury host Holme Lacy tomorrow (2.30pm) with Karl Lancett’s side seeking revenge after they were knocked out of the Jock Handley Cup by their opponents in December.
They went three goals down during a mediocre first-half against Wellington.
But Curt Williams began the recovery in the 58th minute by slipping the ball past the keeper.
Substitute Chris Stone, in temporary control of the team, provided Williams with a chance to grab a late second goal.
Ledbury’s under 25s were demolished 6-0 at Malvern Town in the Worcester Infirmary Cup last week, with assistant manager Stone sent from the dug-out by the referee.
New signing Mitchell Elliott, who played for Bromyard Town, was sent off for two bookings.