STILL missing several key players through injury, Prestwich were desperately unlucky to bow out of the Lancashire Amateur Cup at the first hurdle at Walmer Bridge on Saturday.

The visitors had come from 2-0 down to draw with the Mid Lancs Premier league hosts with goals from Richard Steadman and David Prieto, but the latter missed the crucial penalty as the Prestwich lost 5-4 on penalties.

Prestwich started well on a good playing surface and looked the more accomplished side playing good passing football across the full pitch.

They were unlucky not to take the lead on a couple of occasions with Adam Rhoden heading a Mike Neary corner just wide.

Walmer took the lead against the run of play on 20 minutes and doubled their advantage before the break.

Despite having lost prolific striker Sean Haslam to injury, there was a strong sense that Prestwich were capable of turning the game around in the second period.

Having rejigged to push Sam Holden up the pitch and with Prieto starting to weave his magic and Mike Neary proving a constant menace down the right, the ball began to stick in the Walmer box.

Prestwich pulled a goal back on 70 minutes with Steadman smashing the loose ball home from a corner. And the equaliser followed in the 83rd minute when another superb run and cross from Neary allowed Prieto to fire home on the half volley from an acute angle.

Adam Rhoden should have sealed the win for Prestwich but lashed wide, while at the other end keeper Mike Hudson made a fantastic save to keep out a point-blank header as the game headed for penalties.

Mark Broderick successfully converted the first penalty before Prieto’s shot struck the upright. Thompson, Steadman and Neary all converted but Walmer remained faultless to score all five and progress to the next round.