A goal deep into injury-time denied Hemsworth MW a point in their top of the table clash at home to Penistone Church in the Toolstation NCE Premier Division.
Wayne Benn’s men were looking to close the gap to two points behind second-placed Church and were on course to do so when given a flying start and scoring a second goal before half-time.
But their opponents showed why they have made themselves real title challengers this season as they forced their way back into game after the break and completed their fightback with a goal three minutes into added time to run out 3-2 winners.
Hemsworth could not have wished for a better start in their big game as a sweeping move saw the ball played to Sam Jones who did the rest with a strike from the edge of the box.
They were then forced into an early change with Stephen Wakefield having to come off injured to be replaced by Declan Parker.
Seon Ripley dragged a shot wide as Wells attacked again while Penistone gave the hosts a warning shot with Andrew Ring sending an effort wide after a corner was only half-cleared.
Sam Scrivens made space with a twist and turn, but could only send his shot straight at home keeper Jordan Greaves.
Scrivens sent another effort fizzing wide before Hemsworth doubled their advantage on 41 minutes as Nash Connolly headed home from Bradley Dockerty’s pinpoint cross.
The visitors began their comeback 10 minutes into the second half when a cross was turned into his own net by Edward Cass.
Wells upped their efforts again as Dockerty was slipped through on the left only for his shot to be saved. He also brought a save out of Chris Snaith with another effort soon after.
But when a home free-kick was cleared Penistone broke quickly, setting up Ring to score.
Church went close to another goal following another break with Jordan Coduri’s shot hitting the post.
Greaves made two good saves to keep the game level, but he could not prevent the visitors from grabbing their late winner as Brett Lovell fired home an injury-time winner from a free-kick.
It was a heartbreaking way to lose the game for Hemsworth who now have the tough task to bounce back at home to leaders Yorkshire Amateur this Saturday.
Manager Benn said: “It was a little bit tough to take, but if I’m brutally honest we deserved nothing.
“I thought we were embarrassing in the second half to the point where I didn’t recognise my team. We’ve not passed it, we’ve not competed well enough, we didn’t defend well enough or attacked well enough.”