Greenwich Avenue has never been a happy hunting ground for the Colls - the only previous two visits have both ended in 2-1 and 2-0 defeats respectively - but they drew 1-1 at Basford United on Saturday.

Nathan Caine and Lewis Mansell were both sidelined with injuries, and Jordan Boon added to the physio’s to-mend list early in the second half. Step up Rio Pemberton who was called upon to start his first ever game in the Northern Premier League.

The Collieries started the game with confidence - turns and tricks aplenty, the attacking flair and creativity bamboozled the United defence.

Despite this, Atherton found it hard to produce a clear-cut chance on goal.

Similar to Tuesday night’s outing in Matlock, David Chadwick’s boys were made to rue their lack of end product as the hosts drew first blood with a quite unbelievable solo effort. Colls lost possession deep in the Basford half and found themselves scrambling back. The Amber army led the forward march and Colls inability to deal with this is a lesson that needs to be learnt, reflected Chadwick in his post-match interview. The ball ultimately fell to Matt Thornhill who rifled an effort into the back of the net.

It became a frustrating game for the Colls, who found themselves chasing Basford’s play.

A tight offside call as Mwiya Malumo was played through could have been the inspiration Atherton needed, but Chadwick addressed their rather insipid performance during the half-time break.

Malumo, throughout, had a brilliant game as injuries meant Chadwick had to throw him up top on his own. But this did not stop him from causing the Ambers a headache or two.

It was his individual bit of skill that sparked the Colls to life on 60 minutes. The forward dinked the ball past two defenders to reclaim in the penalty area, now one-on-one with the keeper - but the 254 in attendance could only watch as the ball tickled past the far post.

Chadwick’s lads were awake, they had fire in their bellies and they wanted something from this game. The Claret and White surge pushed and pushed and were rewarded for their endeavours on the 91st minute.

A desperate ball was floated into the area, United faces looked to one another and panicked as Josh Soloman-Davies met the ball and tumbled it home to send all with black-and-white blood wild. Basford United hearts were broken.

It was another learning curve for the Colls. Manager Chadwick could sense a flatness ahead of kick off and it was that same flatness that hung over this young squad until they were unleashed on the hour mark.

It wasn’t pretty, by no means was it perfect, but the character and determination to take something from the game shone through.

This is a relentless league and Lancaster City visit Colls today (3pm).