Atherton Collieries were left frustrated after a 3-0 loss against a ruthless Matlock, despite having caused danger to the hosts throughout on Tuesday.

The visitors started as they meant to go on, with Sidi Fofana, Jordan Scanlon and Harvey Gregson dominating.

Gregson first threatened in the fifth minute, drawing a great save from Matlock stopper Saul Deeney before Scanlon himself was the next to test Deeney, a sharp interception from Fofana teeing up the characteristically lively midfielder for a well-blocked shot.

However, ruthlessness was ultimately the order of the day, and Matlock Town punished the Stripes against the run of play after 22 minutes.

The Gladiators launched a wide counter attack through Nathaniel Crofts, whose cross was well met by Ollie Clark.

The Stripes continued to play positive football and threaten, with Scanlon coming close from range, but it was Matlock who found the second goal.

Having missed the simplest of chances moments earlier, Jon Margetts converted as the Colls were simply unable to clear their lines.

The second half was a continuation of the first, whilst the Collieries offered the quantity of the day’s attacks, it was Matlock who delivered the decisive clinical quality.

Mwiya Malumo was the first to threaten, a dangerous ball forwards prompted Matlock’s Deeney to run into no man’s land, and Malumo lifted the ball towards the open goal but landed inches wide with his effort.

Frustrations rose for the Colls soon after. With supporters appealing and the linesman flagging following consecutive rough tackles from behind on Harvey Gregson, the referee waved play on before awarding a Matlock penalty for an identikit tackle in the box moments later.

Margetts, who was fouled for the decision, dusted himself down and duly converted.

David Chadwick’s side received a warm reception from the loud and proud travelling faithful upon the final whistle as the result wasn’t for the lack of trying.

Colls are on the road at Basford United on Saturday before a home clash with Lancaster City on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).