Ben Starkie scored a show-stopping stoppage-time winner as Atherton Collieries were beaten 3-2 by Ilkeston Town at the Skuna Stadium.

Dylan Thompson and Enoch Lusiama each registered their first goals in Colls colours, but ultimately found themselves on the losing side as Alex Marshall, Jamie Walker and substitute Starkie all netted for Ilkeston.

The visitors took the lead early on, with Marshall rising first to meet Larell King’s looping long throw, before guiding the ball over Nico Defreitas-Hansen for the game’s opening goal.

The Colls did begin to grow into the first half in the latter stages, however, and their best chance came as Lewis Mansell beat Matt Yeates in the air, only to see his effort cannon out of play via the post.

Shortly after the break, the equalising goal would come, as centre-back Thompson headed home from a corner to notch his first Atherton Collieries goal in just his second start since his move from Nantwich Town. It was a first headed goal of the competitive season.

Another corner, and another first-time scorer, made the comeback complete for Colls, with debutant Lusiama eventually turning the ball home from close range after an almighty scramble in the six-yard box. He looks primed to be a terrace favourite.

But the pendulum was set to swing once more, as Walker first levelled things at 2-2 from 12 yards, before Starkie’s 92nd-minute strike went crashing in off the bar in a final, dramatic twist.

The majority of the Skuna crowd was plunged into stunned silence, while the pocket of Derbyshire visitors celebrated the wonder strike passionately.

David Chadwick’s men had, moments earlier, been denied a penalty of their own when Thompson went down - much to the frustration of the natives.

It was a much-improved home display in particularly testing conditions that the supporters appreciated wholeheartedly at full time.

Should Colls have got something out of the game? Most definitely, but they must now dust themselves down for a trip to Worksop Town on Saturday.