Ampthill Town made an early exit from the FA Cup on Friday evening when they lost 2-0 at AFC Dunstable.
They fell to their third consecutive defeat when their SSML rivals scored two first half goals, but they had enough of the game to deserve a draw and can look back on a good second half show.
Charlie Culllen had an early opening for Ampthill but screwed his angled shot wide of the target and the hosts soon made Town pay for the miss when Jermaine Hall headed home a 10th minute opener.
Jack Ambler kept Town in the game with some fine stops but he had little chance when Marcus Campbell escaped his marker for Dunstable’s second goal.
Ambler pulled off a fine double save before the break but, after the interval, Town had their hosts on the back foot.
In the opening minutes, Myles Scott saw his shot hit the bar and a follow up header blazed over, and soon afterwards a Tremayne Charles shot was well saved.
A double substitution gave Town more strength and purpose up front, and the home defence had to work hard to stop Town’s rally.
The visitors had two headers well saved by the home keeper but could not find the target and Dunstable earned a home tie with Uxbridge after their two first half goals.
Town looked a better outfit after break but it took the two goal reverse to get them firing on all cyclinders.
They had some fine approach work but still lacked the finishing touch to break down AFC and they will now need to find some sharpness to pick up league points.
Ampthill host Biggleswade United tonight before going to Oxhey Jets on Saturday, with Stotfold the visitors next Tuesday.