SLEIGHTS threw away a two-goal lead as Whitby RFC pulled off a stunning comeback to score four times in the last 20 minutes to seal a spot in round two of the league trophy.
At a windy Caedmon, the narrow pitch made for a scrappy game and with the wind and slope behind them, Sleights dominated the from the off as the away side struggled to get going.
If not for some resolute defending and goalkeeping they could have had a healthy lead at half-time. As it was, Rob Ingham’s effort on 35 minutes gave them a slender 1-0 lead,
Hancock was lucky to escape a penalty shout on 40 minutes when the ball appeared to strike his arm from Webster’s cross.
The second half saw much the same pattern as Sleights continued to press and they doubled their lead on 65 minutes when Ian Smith peeled on and lashed home from 18 yards.
Rugby Club survived a huge penalty appeal when Webster’s cross struck player manager Headlam as Sleights threatened to run out of sight.
Rugby club began to play and scored on 72 minutes when Taylor looped home from 25 yards into the top left hand corner of the net after impressive subsitute Wilson’s cross was only half cleared.
Five minutes later, the turnaround was complete when right back James Inglis strolled in round the back to tap home from Kilpatrick’s cross.
There was now only one team in the game and Steele knocked a delightful ball into the Sleights box and when the home keeper failed to get near the ball, new club skipper Damon Craig headed into the empty net to hand the away side the lead on 82 minutes.
Sleights should have been awarded a penalty on 85 minutes when player manager Headlam appeared to handle from Webster’s effort, but the referee waved play on.
To rub salt into the wounds, it was Headlam’s clearance from deep which found Hogarth and when he beat the Sleights keeper to the ball he tapped home, leaving Sleights wondering how they lost a game they dominated for so long.
Man of the match: Simon Taylor.
Sleights: Coulson, McCarthy, Locker, Howard, Fletcher, Smith, Magill, Webster, Hicks, Ingham, Greenhill. Subs: Prior, Woodhouse. Matchball Sponsor: Fletcher & Woodhouse.
Sleights 2 Whitby Rugby Club 4