Injuries and illness meant Chorley FC Women made the long trip to Norton and Stockton Ancients Women with just 11 players, and they left unlucky not to come home with at least a point after a 2-1 defeat.
The game changed in controversial fashion on 20 minutes, as a ball powered across from the right struck Saskia Bowes on the arm.
The referee – close to the incident – played on, however the linesman flagged for a penalty.
Rachel Derbyshire produced a fantastic save from Bianca Owens, but the ball bounced back across the face of the goal and spun over the line before she could recover it.
As if to confirm lady luck had deserted Chorley, two minutes later, the Magpies forced a free-kick midway in the Norton half.
The ball was floated into the box and appeared to be handled by a Norton defender, but the referee waved play on.
This would have knocked the stuffing out of most sides but the Chorley girls rolled up their sleeves and battled.
A lovely move found Laura Walker in space, and she drew a player before squaring a nice ball to Lisa Topping, who – from 25 yards out – took one touch and smashed the ball over the keeper to level the scores.
Katy Morris then went on a powerful run from midfield, beating several players, but the ball bobbled away at a crucial moment.
Norton attacked down the left but the resulting shot was saved again by Derbyshire.
In the last minute, Norton attacked with pace into the box and only a superb tackle by Bowes stopped a shot on goal.
From the corner the ball was flicked up in the air, landed on the bar and dropped down in the six-yard box, only to be stabbed home by Norton’s Vicki Burton for the winning goal.
It was a cruel ending to the game for the Magpies.