A second-half collapse coast Leverstock Green dear as they were beaten 5-0 by St Margaretsbury in the SSML Premier Division.
Green ended up on the wrong end of another heavy defeat, but this was a very harsh result on Dene Gardner’s side.
Green played well in the first half, but were hit by some unfortunate goals in the second half.
The game hinged on two contentious penalty decisions, one not given and one given.
Leverstock more than held their own in the first half, and could have scored through both Tommy Walsh and Elias Moses.
The first of the contentious penalty decisions came on 25 minutes when Billy Smith made a run into the box and a defender made contact with a sliding tackle. Smith tried to stay on his feet but then stumbled. The referee had the whistle in his mouth, but then decided not to award the penalty, nor did he book Smith for diving.
Leverstock went close again in the 32nd minute through Dene Gardner, but it stayed goalless until half-time.
Three minutes into the second half came the second penalty decision that would change the game.
The ball was pulled back to Mark Summers just inside the box, and his fierce shot struck the hand of Green defender Danny Arnett a couple of yards away. Arnett’s arms were by his side, and he didn’t move his hand towards the ball but the referee awarded the penalty which Joss Lillis scored to put the home side 1-0 up.
The fragile confidence of the Leverstock side was further shaken by two quick goals midway through the half from Brett O’Connor and Summers .
Further salt was rubbed into the wounds with two late strikes.
Leverstock must pick themselves up quickly as they host leaders Kings Langley on Saturday.
Leverstock Green: Kieran Jimmy, Liam O’Keefe, Tunde Owolabi, Danny Arnett, Callum Wright, Gavin Smith, Dene Gardner, Tommy Walsh, Billy Smith (David Sobers 76 mins), Elias Moses, Alex Nolan (Luke Warner-Eley 76 mins). Sub not used: James Sears.