Atherton Collieries bowed out of this season’s FA Trophy at the first hurdle with a chastening defeat at North Ferriby on Saturday.

Credit must go first and foremost to the hosts. The 2015 FA Trophy champions are bouncing back up the divisions with vigour since their 2019 reformation, and are currently mounting a firm promotion push to join the Northern Premier Division next season.

Ferriby were ultimately of great value for their reputation, with a great performance and fantastic hospitality to boot.

However, for some part their victory was made all too easy by an out-of-sorts Collieries performance.

Proceedings were off to the worst of starts, as the ball took a rogue deflection following some penalty-area pinball to gift the Villagers the lead through Tom Corner.

The Colls were fired up in response. With their next attack, the Stripes were unlucky not to score as a looping header beat the keeper to hit the bar, before Jordan Scanlon was unlucky with a long-range effort going narrowly wide through a disjointed defence.

However, as pleasing as the attacking play was on the eye, North Ferriby doubled their lead all too easily. A simple low cross into the box was not contended by the defence, with Danny Earl collecting and converting with ease.

Again, the Colls responded with vigour. Joe Adams and Scanlon produced the nicest play of the game with some neat interchanging football before Adams placed a perfect cross across the box to Lewis Mansell. Though the Stripes’ number 10 won his header at the near post, there was nobody on hand in the six-yard box to convert, an agonising missed opportunity.

The second half was ultimately a carbon copy of the first. Four minutes after the opening whistle, a third goal was notched by the Villagers - an unchallenged cross into the box converted by Earl.

North Ferriby switched on the experience with their fourth and final goal. Substitutes Danny Clarke and Adam Bolder, a combined total of 81 years of age, produced a beautiful passage of play, with a perfect lofted pass from Clarke finding Bolder in the six-yard box for a powerful finish.

The Stripes return to Yorkshire tomorrow night to face Guiseley.