UNITED travelled to Cleethorpes knowing that they had to win to prevent the hosts from clinching the title for at least another week.
And for 80 minutes United had the upper hand in terms of the result and overall play.
But the last 10 minutes saw Cleethorpes score three times to clinch the championship.
Cleethorpes made an edgy start with United settling much better.
On 18 minutes United deservedly took the lead when Kyle McGuigan struck an excellent right footed volley across Drury into the corner of the net.
The game developed into a midfield battle with both sides giving no quarter.Both side’s had penalty appeals turned down beforee United received a massive blow when Andy Reeson had to be carried off with knee ligament damage which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
Cleethorpes levelled on 56 minutes when Cawley appeared to control the ball with his arm before playing the ball through the visitors’ defence for Luke Mascall to round Pritchard and place the ball into the empty net
United retook the lead on 64 minutes when Callum Hyland powered into the Cleethorpes area from the left and was brought down.
From the resulting penalty Jordan Walden sent Drury the wrong way with a hard driven shot to restore their lead.
With the game moving into the final ten minutes United looked like they were in control.
But Cleethorpes drew level on 81 minutes when Barrett’s long range shot was palmed away by Pritchard straight into the path of Darren Hanslip,
who made no mistake from close range. Cleethorpes were now looking to gain the three points to secure the title and their third goal came on 84 minutes when, from a United corner, Cleethorpes cleared and hit them on the counter attack and Todd pulled the ball back to Alex Flett to fire home.
Walden had a fantastic chance to equalise with only minutes to go but he lifted his shot over the bar when he should have scored.
In added on time Cleethorpes again hit United on the counter attack as they threw everything at the home side. Jon Oglesby broke the offside trap and then rounded Pritchard to place the ball into the empty net to make certain of the win.
After the game the Lincolnshire League trophy was presented to Cleethorpes captain Darren Hanslip.
Joint Manager Mark Hallam said: “I could not be more proud of our players. After losing such key players and still being the better side for 70 minutes of this match shows what a bright future this football club has.”
Joint Manager Jason Callaby added: “It’s hard to take because we didn’t deserve that today but, considering the resources they have, it’s a credit to our players that we certainly gave them a run for their money.”
United - Pritchard, S. Chamberlain, Parker, Walden, Gowshall, Hyland, Reeson (Hallam), McGuigan, M. Chamberlain, Scutt, Crossley. Unused Subs: Smith, Callaby, Drysdale. Man of the Match for United – MaCauley Parker.
United were in action again last night (Tuesday) after the Standard went to print, when they took on CGB Humbertherm. Their next game is this Saturday (April 21) at 3pm at Wainfleet Road when they entertain Louth Town Res.