A chopped and changed Lancaster City side bowed out of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy with a whimper at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.
The Dolly Blues had two players sent off, missed a penalty and were guilty of some glaring misses to cap off a thoroughly forgettable night as North West Counties side Nelson moved into the last eight.
Without defenders Glenn Steel, Neil Marshall or Ryan Thompson, City’s backline looked shaky in the early stages and were punished by a Nelson side high on confidence.
Jonny Hession latched on to a simple ball down the middle of the defence and lifted the ball over Danny MacDonald to open the scoring.
To make matters worse, Lancaster were down to 10 men minutes later.
Another long ball through the defence was met by MacDonald at the edge of the box, but spilled his first effort to gather the ball.
His follow up saw him handle outside the box and referee Barry Cropp gave the City stopper his marching orders.
Down the other end City pressed on and Mark Jackson directed a header from four yards straight at the keeper Ben Woodhead whilst Dave Swarbrick hit the bar with a half volley from 15 yards.
Nelson however doubled their lead when Sakil Abdullah converted a scramble from a corner from close range.
Despite being a man down City looked the much more likely to score in the second half.
They were given a lifeline when Tom Kilifin was hacked down just inside the box with the striker electing to take the kick himself but his effort lacked any conviction and was easily saved by Woodhead.
Swarbrick gave City hope with 20 minutes remaining with a smart finish following Ryan Elderton’s cross but any hope of a comeback was dashed just minutes later.
Ryan Winder, feeling he was fouled after a hard tackle from midfielder Jack Brooks, flicked a boot out in frustration at his opponent and was rightly given a straight red card as City were reduced to nine men.
Nelson then lost a player themselves when Abdullah shown a second yellow but it made little difference to a tired and ragged City side who fluffed their lines in their last remaining cup competition.
The visitors wrapped up victory in added time when Daniel Moss’ strike beat substitute ‘keeper Jordan Millar from a tight angle.
Lancaster City: MacDonald 4, Henry 6, Hudson 6, Parkinson 5, Elderton 7, Winder 4, Akrigg 5, Mahoney (Millar 12), Kilifin 5, Swarbrick 5, Jackson 5.
Star man: Ryan Elderton.