Atherton Collieries collapsed to a frustrating 4-1 defeat away to Gainsborough Trinity in the NPL Premier Division, despite a strong showing in spells at the Northolme Stadium.

Indeed, the first half was an even and end-to-end affair, with both teams enjoying their fair share of chances.

However, it was Trinity who took the lead through a well-fortuned penalty. Dayle Southwell fell under the faintest slither of contact from Nico Defreitas-Hansen, before brushing himself down to convert.

The Colls continued to fight despite the setback, with Lewis Mansell providing a constant threat towards the Holy Blues’ defence.

The Clarets came out for the second half rejuvenated and took the visitors to the hilt throughout the opening exchanges, however the wind was taken from the sails when Trinity converted a second against the run of play. A well-taken free-kick found Dylan Cogill who headed low to double the lead.

The lads continued to fight to work their way back into the game, and received an overdue and rare slice of luck with a penalty awarded for a clip on Mansell at the far post, and Jordan Scanlon stepped up to score his third goal for the club.

However, with every blow landed by the Colls, Gainsborough would reply with two of their own, and with the visitors again regaining their foothold, Trinity instantly converted a free-kick of their own to re-establish their advantage.

An unusual opportunity came for the Colls through an indirect free-kick within the penalty area, which also saw the Trinity goalkeeper booked for breaking the oft-ignored six-second rule.

Ben Rydel, who has impressed as a creative outlet for the Colls throughout the season so far, was substituted into action for the opportunity, but the Clarets could not capitalise.

Ans a nail was added to the Collieries coffin as Harvey Gregson was dismissed with a second yellow for a succession of fouls.

Joel Holvey compounded the Stripes’ misery as he headed home in stoppage time, punishing a disheartened and deflated Colls.

It was a lesson for the Collieries young guns who were gleefully dispatched by the Lincolnshire outfit.

Lancashire rivals Bamber Bridge visit the Skuna tomorrow night in another Premier Division clash (7.45pm).