Tring Athletic failed to deliver against Southern League outfit Arlesey Town as their FA Cup dreams were shattered for another year.
There will be a sense of disappointment amongst the Tring players as this was a lost opportunity to shine against a more senior club who have made a poor start to the season with five straight defeats.
There was little to choose between the two teams but crucially Arlesey grabbed the opportunities that came their way while Tring failed to do so.
Both sides created some early half chances but, with a quarter of the game gone, neither keeper had been tested.
Midway through the half Arlesey stepped up the pressure and, in the 29th minute, they opened the scoring when Lewis Wilson struck a fine shot from just outside the box past Tring keeper Matt Evans.
With the first half approaching its conclusion, it was Athletic’s turn to exert the pressure as they twice went close to levelling the score.
Kieran Turner produced a superb run into the area before laying the ball to Ollie Hogg whose shot from close range was somehow deflected over the bar by a defender.
From the corner the ball fell to Luke Dunstan who stabbed the ball over.
After the interval Evans made a good save from Luke Abraham and, from a corner, Athletic skipper Dan Steadman was unlucky to see his goalbound shot headed off the line.
In the 64th minute the game appeared to swing in Athletic’s favour when visiting captain Louis Lee received his second yellow followed by a red card.
With a one-man advantage Athletic pressed forward, sensing the game could now be theirs.
But six minutes later they failed to deal with a routine free-kick and Ben Farrell was able to stroke the ball into the empty net to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.
The second goal was a big blow and Athletic’s attempts to get back in the game were easily rebuff by a now buoyant Arlesey who held on to book their place in the next round where they will visit Ryman Premier side Brentwood Town.