LEDBURY Town's title hopes were dealt a significant blow on Easter Monday as a surprise 2-1 defeat at 10-man Clee Hill United saw them hand Sporting Club Inkberrow a major boost in their hopes of catching Ian Merrick's side. 

They were fortunate not to go behind inside the opening minute when a free-kick clipped the top of the bar, but it was to be a sign of what was to come. 

Ledbury's keeper made a diving save to keep Clee out but after 12 minutes of constant pressure, the home side took a deserved lead through Josh Bowen. 

It was already proving a frustrating afternoon but when Lewis Williams crashed a volley off the crossbar just seconds after the visitors went behind, it just felt as if it was not going to be Ledbury's day. 

The conditions were proving tricky to play in as the swirling wind continued to hinder both sides' attempts to play and at half-time the scores remained 1-0 to Clee. 

The second-half reached a critical point mid-way through as keeper Joe Whitaway was sent-off for fouling Ben Miller as the last-man and Clee all of a sudden wer down to 10 men. 

Ledbury had their tails up and when they equalised through Tom Trigg, the game swung back in their favour and most thought the league leaders would go on and get the win.

But it was not to be as Clee regained the lead shortly afterwards as striker Craig Breakwell found the back of the net. 

Ledbury piled forward in search of an equaliser but it did not come and they were unable to take anything from a game they could ill-afford to lose. 

Inkberrow's 6-1 win at Welland at the same time meant they closed the gap on Ledbury to just a single point at the top of the division. Ledbury have also played a game more than their title rivals.

Ledbury now play Hereford Pegasus Reserves and Inkberrow back-to-back over the next fortnight in what will almost certainly define the destination of the league trophy.