EARLSWOOD can count themselves rather unfortunate to go out of the Presidents Cup at the first round stage after conceding what proved to be the only goal of the game eight minutes from time away at Chelmsley Town.
The visitors looked dangerous early on with Danny Wallace causing problems down the left but he was thwarted by a series of last ditch tackles.
Their first real chance of the match fell to Matt Seeley but his free kick was comfortable for the home keeper.
When Chelmsley did attack they were always dangerous and after a spell of pressure the Earlswood defenders were glad to see Martinez intervene to break up a dangerous attack while another effort was cleared off the line.
Earlswood attacked down both wings and Wallace dribbled his way through the Chelmsley defence only to see his shot go wide.
When the Chelmsley forwards did play their way into the Earswood penalty area John Jackson was always on hand to clear the ball and was well in control with a number of good headers.
In the 24th minute Danny Wallace lost the ball in his own half and as the Chelmsley forwards went for goal Zack Cogger did well to cut out the attack.
Two minutes later Mathew Green set up a good chance for himself but his effort was wide of a post and a few minutes later a good centre from Morris was headed wide by Russell Moyle.
A couple of chances fell to the hosts as the half-time whistle approached but by the midway point the scoreline remained goalless.
Earlswood started off on the offensive foot for the first five minutes of the second half and Green saw his effort on goal well cleared before at the other end Hancock had to be alert to deny a Chelmsley Town effort.
As well as being outstanding in the Earlswood defence Jackson was venturing forward for set pieces and went close with a header from a Seeley free kick after 56 minutes.
Three minutes later Matt Green was put away by Seeley and after taking the ball on lobbed it over the home keeper only to see it go the wrong side of a post.
Chelmsley then had an attacking spell and went close with a header before on 75 minutes Wallace connected well with a header but his effort went wide of goal.
The deadlock was finally broken on 82 minutes when a Chelmsley striker beat three defenders before slotting the ball past Hancock.
It could have got worse for the visitors when Chelmsley were awarded a penalty in injury-time but Hancock produced a smart save from the spot to keep the scoreline 1-0 and that is how it stayed.
Next up for Earlswood is a home clash against Paget Rangers in the first round of the Les James Cup.