Rees Longville-Daley’s 90th minute finish saw Spalding United knock Boston United out of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup.
Comical defending allowed the Tulips defender to net the only goal of the game at the death.
Nathan Whitehead’s low free kick trickled into the Pilgrims’ penalty area, where Christian Dibble failed the gather the ball before indecision in the defence allowed Longville-Daley the simple task of prodding home and settling the contest.
While Dennis Greene may not lose any sleep over the result, the county cup is hardly the silverware he covets, he will be keen for his newly-assembled side to iron out these summertime errors before the arrival of Stalybridge Celtic on August 6.
Prior to kick off Boston trialists Marcus Marshall, Josh Green and Liam Adams signed Lincolnshire FA registration forms to ensure they were eligible to compete, with Marshall making the starting XI and the other two taking their places on the bench.
Jake Williams was not at the Jakemans Stadium, the former Manchester City trainee and fellow hopeful Andrew Ofosu left to seek clubs elsewhere.
The goalless first half may have been played out with the feel of a pre-season friendly, but both teams conjured up plenty of chances.
Boston’s Lamin Colley could have staked an early claim for this season’s golden boot if he was able to convert the chances put his way.
Clever through balls from Lewis Hilliard and Jay Rollins were wasted while a dinked effort on the edge of the penalty area didn’t trouble Michael Duggan.
The Tulips keeper was tested towards the end of the opening 45 as the hosts began to exert some pressure, parrying Rollins’ powerful effort and getting enough on Marshall’s low strike to force a corner.
Spalding looked dangerous on the break and, after Whitehead blasted an early effort over the bar, Bradley Barraclough pounced on a loose ball in the Boston box, only to fire wide.
When Tom Waumsley had options he chose to shoot, a weak effort which Dibble gathered with ease.
The Tulips’ best chance of the half saw Barraclough get into a great position close to goal, but as Dibble made himself big his outstretched arm did enough to block.
The second half saw the Pilgrims begin to dominate, with Lewis Hilliard and Grant Roberts forcing efforts off target before Duggan was called upon to keep out Jason St Juste’s stinging drive.
Seconds later and Rollins’ strike skimmed off Sidnei Costa and rattled the crossbar.
With 20 minutes to play, and penalties looming, the game suddenly sprang into frantic life.
Spalding’s Barraclough and Rees Longville-Daley both had golden chances but fired wide of the mark.
For Boston, Hilliard tested Duggan with a dipping free kick, Herve Pepe-Ngoma forced a header over the bar and Callum Chippendale sent a dipper off target.
With the final seconds ticking down United let that set-play catch them out.
But with the final kick of the match, Waide Fairhurst almost pulled the Pilgrims level, only for his strike to be deflected wide.
The full-time whistle blew, leaving the Tulips to celebrate and Boston to to wonder how they allowed that result to happen.
UNITED: Dibble, Thomas (Johnson 79), Pepe-Ngoma, Maguire, Wildin (Burgess 55), Roberts (Fairhurst 55), Hilliard, Rollins, Marshall, St Juste (Chippendale 66), Colley; Subs (not used): Green, Adams, Emery.
SPALDING: Duggan, Costa, Spafford, Stainfield, Field, Lockie, Varley, Whitehead, Thorpe (Bannister HT), Barraclough (Butland 80), Waumsley (Longville-Daley 61); Subs (not used): Heeley, Walker.
Ref: Martin Chester.