Wetherby Athletic’s hopes of escaping the West Yorkshire Football League Premier Division relegation zone suffered another blow when they were beaten 8-0 by leaders Carlton Athletic.
Mark Forster’s strugglers kicked off Saturday’s game at The Ings with just 10 men due to the unavailability of a host of players, and were then reduced to nine when Josh Forster suffered an injury as early as the 27th minute.
The Tangerines were already 2-0 down by this point, but against all the odds, they saw the remainder of the first period out without conceding again.
Indeed, it took a 51st-minute penalty award for Athletic to breach the home defence for a third time, before they went 4-0 up just after the hour-mark.
Despite their significant numerical disadvantage, Wetherby worked hard to keep the table-toppers at bay, and it was only when the hosts began to tire in the last quarter of an hour that Carlton began to run away with the game.
Boss Forster reflected: “What happened was a black day for Wetherby. It might also be the first time that we failed to put a full side out, it’s shameful. I’m so proud of those lads out there who have turned out to play and some have spent an hour getting here.
“I thought all the players were magnificent, the spirit that they showed was first class.
“It’s difficult to say anything about the game really, we ran our socks off. The players ran and ran and all of them put a shift in.
“I thought to be just 2-0 down against the best team in the district at half-time was a phenomenal achievement, especially as we were down to nine men.
“In the second half we tired and Carlton took advantage of that and towards the end we struggled, but we kept on trying and I can’t praise them enough.”