Epping Town are out of the Senior League Cup after a 3-2 (after extra time) defeat to Great Baddow at Stonards Hill recreation ground.
Daniel Exeorji gave Epping Town a 1-0 half-time lead before the visitors leveled in the second half to take the tie into extra time.
Epping Town went ahead for the second time with a strike from Man of the Match Daniel Garfinkle before Great Baddow netted twice in the second period of extra time to take their place in the last eight.
The game was marred by four sendings off however Epping Town manager Billy Cove while admitting to be “gutted” by the result was full of praise for his team.
He said: “To say I’m gutted is an understatement. I think we did ourselves proud against a team four divisions above us.
“Having a player sent off after 20 minutes didn’t help us but we soaked up the pressure and went in at half-time with a well deserved 1-0 lead.”
He added: “I cannot fail to mention the performance of the referee today, in my 30-year football career I have never met a worse one.
“He sent four people off in what wasn’t a dirty game at all.
“He ignored the linesman’s flag for their third goal and gave a very debatable penalty.
“It’s hard to take as he will be refereeing next week whilst we will face suspensions and fines.
“Both teams and the 50-plus spectators can’t all be wrong, can they?
“I’d like to wish Great Baddow luck in the next round and for the remainder of their season, they were very well organised, hard to break down and a really good bunch of blokes.”