Sleaford Town’s tough start to the season showed no sign of easing with an FA Vase exit to lower-league opponents on Saturday.
The first qualifying round tie was a battle of the United Counties League basement sides with Sleaford Town now propping up United Counties League Premier and hosts Bourne Town also bottom of Division One.
It looked on paper a good chance for Town to end their winless start against a side with four defeats from four.
Bourne also went into the game without a permanent manager after the departure of Robert Middleton seven days earlier, but the hosts came through 4-2.
Sleaford went closest to the breakthrough after 15 minutes when Ted Gibbons had a shot cleared off the line, but Bourne hit the front through Russell.
Jamie Shaw’s young side responded well and went into the break level after Taylor Gray held off his man from a set piece to drill a low shot into the Bourne net.
The home side went back in front after the interval courtesy of Driscoll’s penalty despite Regan Start getting a hand to the spot-kick.
Once again the Green Army fought back although there was a fair amount of luck involved in the second equaliser, when a long ball was nodded into his own net by a Bourne centre-half.
Town were hit by the loss of centre-half Ben Newman to injury and just moments later, it was 3-2 as Driscoll netted his second.
Sleaford piled on the pressure in search of a third, to take the tie into extra time, and saw Bourne clear off the line for a second time when the keeper spilled a free-kick.
But after soaking up the pressure, Bourne made sure of their progress into the next round when Mason delivered a classic sucker-punch for 4-2.
Town will look to pick up their first points of the season with back-to-back home matches this week.
First visitors are fifth-placed Holbeach United on Saturday (ko 3pm) before Peterborough Northern Star head to Eslaforde Park on Wednesday for a 7.45pm kick-off.
Town: Start, Matts, Gray, B. Newman, Ellis, Armstrong, Gibbons, Daff, Olivant, Ginniff, Waywell.