Atherton Collieries suffered a 2-1 league defeat away to Nantwich Town on a frustrating afternoon in Cheshire.
Scott Bakkor struck early to give the Colls the lead but Dan Cockerline and Troy Bourne reversed the game for the hosts, with Jay Fitzmartin sent off in the second half.
Colls got off to a flying start, Luca Defreitas-Hansen's long ball finding Scott Bakkor who beat two defenders before slotting home on six minutes.
More chances followed and Brad Cooke’s side really should have been cruising, Danny Lafferty nodding into the keepers arms and Jay Fitzmartin also denied from cross-range.
However, Colls were punished before the break with Nantwich’s first chance of the game, Tom Scully’s free kick bundled home by Dan Cockerline as Colls failed to clear their lines.
Play continued in the same vein in the second half, Jay Fitzmartin squandering a golden opportunity for Colls as he fired over from Scott Bakkor’s cross with the net gaping.
Fitzmartin was controversially dismissed on the hour-mark following a 50/50 with Nantwich keeper Tom Booth, the Colls man shown a red card after both players challenged for a loose ball.
The red card proved to be the turning point, with Nantwich captain Troy Bourne heading the hosts in front with ten minutes remaining, one of the home sides’ few chances on the day.
Colls had a chance to salvage a draw deep into stoppage time, Bailey Thompson squaring to Scott Bakkor who’s effort was denied by the legs of Booth to cap a frustrating afternoon.
Colls: Owen Mooney, Clive Smith, Joel Amado, Oli Brown (Ethan Kershaw 66’), Danny Lafferty, Luca Hansen (Gaz Peet ‘83), Ben Hardcastle, Arran Pettifer (73’ Bailey Thompson), Scott Bakkor, Jay Fitzmartin, Marcus Cusani
Unused: Jack Lenehan, Adam Rooney
Man of the Match: Joel Amado, sponsored by Les Unsworth
Report: Danny Brown
Photo: Rob Clarke