Ryhope CW were knocked out of the Northern League Cup on Tuesday night after conceding in injury time to lose 2-1 at Ashington.
Shaun Henderson gave the hosts the lead in the first half, before half-time substitute Kyle Davis levelled things for Gary Pearson’s men.
Ben Harmison scored in the final moments of the game to prevent a penalty shootout, and knocked Ryhope out of another cup competition following Saturday’s FA Vase defeat.
Pearson said: “I am very disappointed to lose it late on. It was quite even, but second half we were the better side.
“Every sort of game our side seems depleted, we just just can’t seem to get a settled side and 16. When you go there with a depleted side and think the writing’s on the wall.”
Ryhope travelled to Woodhorn Lane with a depleted squad that included boss Pearson named among the substitutes.
In a relatively even first-half, Ryhope looked to have kept the scores level going into the break, before Henderson gave the Steve Harmison’s side the lead on 41 minutes.
Ryhope were more than holding their own in the second-half, and deservedly got their equaliser through Davis just before the hour mark.
In the 92nd minute, former Durham and Kent cricketer Harmison fortuitously fired Ashington into the next round.
The former Crook Town manager said: “It helps us get our mind on other things. We’ve got an uphill task to stay in the league, but it’s not beyond our reach.”
Ryhope have struggled in their midweek fixtures away from home, and had previously lost 5-0 away at Ashington in the league in September.
“We’ll build on our confidence gained from the defeat and take it into Saturday’s game. We were 30 seconds from taking it to penalties,” Pearson added.
Ryhope are back in league action on Saturday as they travel to near-neighbours Washington in a relegation six-pointer.