IT was heartbreak for C&K Basildon Ladies after they conceded a last-minute goal to lose a thrilling cup final.
A last-minute goal meant C&K, who had led twice in the match, missed out on lifting the trophy, suffering a 4-3 defeat to Norwich City in the South East Combination League Cup Final, held in Bedfordshire.
C&K came into the cup final having been pipped to the league title by QPR in the last game of the season.
They took on Norwich, who had finished one place below them in the league and it was C&K who took an early lead.
Good interplay between Karissa Rodney and Hannah Porter freed Zoe Rushen, who steered a low shot into the net.
Not content with a one-goal lead, C&K pushed for a second goal but, against the run of play, Norwich equalised with 20 minutes on the clock. A mistake in the heart of defence saw the ball break for a Canaries striker to dink the ball over the onrushing Mel Kinsalla from 25 yards.
Not to be denied, Basildon retook the lead eight minutes later. Porter and Rushen linked up, with the latter playing in Amy Nash on the edge of the box. She flicked the ball to Sara Sinclair who hit a first time shot into the net.
It seemed as though C&K would head into the break in front but they conceded moments before the half-time whistle – a dipping free-kick finding the net via the crossbar and beating Kinsalla all ends up.
Norwich took the lead for the first time in the match when they intercepted the ball straight from kick-off, before freeing the forward who scored with ease. The lead was again short lived when Claire Lacey scored with a header from a Jenny Brown-Wealls corner.
C&K had a number of chances to score a decisive goal but it would not come – with Brown-Wealls flicking the Norwich crossbar with a free-kick and Karissa Rodney denied by a fingertip save.
Sinclair had two further chances to score before Meagan Doyle shot inches wide in the last minute.
With the game seemingly destined for extra-time the ball was crossed into the C&K box and the Norwich forward steered the ball home, amidst calls for an offside flag, leaving C&K empty-handed.