The Green’s recent unbeaten run in the West Lancashire League First Division came to an abrupt end at the hands of an effervescent Lytham Town.
On a wet and windswept day, the visitors from the seaside made all the early running. The quick and agile front three caused the usually solid Hurst Green defence all sorts of problems.
It was no surprise that Lytham took the lead after 20 minutes.
A missed clearance led to a shot, beating keeper Chester and deflecting in off the post.
Five minutes later, another defensive error almost left Chester stranded, and only a desperate flying hand from the keeper saved Green.
The locals slowly started to come back into the game. A long clearance from Chester and a flick from the ever-busy Reynolds led to shot and goal from McLean. A welcome if not totally deserved equaliser.
Rather than providing impetus, Green fell asleep, and yet another missed header led to another Lytham goal.
2 -1 to the visitors at half time was perhaps not a fair reflection on Lytham’s dominance.
Manager Seedall produced the hair dryer during the interval, and it seemed to have paid dividends when a Reynolds free kick fell to Byrne, whose shot produced his first league goal of the season.
However, defensive frailties were on show again five minutes later. Again, the Green defence failed to head to safety, letting the Lytham forward through to slide the ball past Chester.
The hosts seemed to galvanise, and had the best of the next 20 minutes, but pushing for the equaliser proved their undoing when Lytham broke and left Chester with no chance.
Too be fair to Hurst Green, heads did not drop, and they continued to press.
Haworth provided some consolation with a wonderful shot from outside the box finding the top left hand corner.
In the last play of the game, a long ball found a Lytham forward one-on-one with Chester, and a cool finish gave Lytham a well-deserved 5-3 victory.
Green will be itching to make amends against Furness Rovers at Smithy Row on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in the Houston Cup first round, Green’s reserves won 2-1 at Longridge Town in an eagerly-awaited first derby between the clubs.
Hurst Green scored after 20 minutes after a fine Cattermole pass re leased Scott, who smashed the ball in off the near post.
Mort should have added a second soon after when he smartly rounded the keeper but shot agonisingly wide.
Green went 2-0 up five minutes after half-time as a defensive howler allowed Mort in for his 11th league goal in eight starts.
Evason’s 25-tard lob halved the deficit with 15 minutes remaining, but Green shaded the match overall ahead of a re-run in the league.